Monet Held in Same Family for a Century Comes to Christie's

Pastoral work from 1890 was owned by Paul Durand-Ruel before family that has owned it for 108 years bought it

The market for works by Claude Monet entered a dramatic new phase during the pandemic. LiveArt described those market dynamics here. Works that had been priced at auction between $27 and $36.5 million before the pandemic began seem to be trading at prices from $48 million to $70 million.

Strong auction prices bring more works to market. This season there is a wide variety of Monet’s paintings on offer at Sotheby’s and Christie’s. Some of the sales are due to the presence of exceptional collections like Anne H. Bass. Other works are being offered to capitalize on demand.

Today, Christie’s announced a group of pictures from a French collector that includes strong examples of work by Jean-Baptiste Corot and Alfred Sisley that will appear in the Impressionist and Modern Art day sale as well as Claude Monet’s Champ d’avoine et de coquelicots, with an estimate of $12 million, that will lead the Modern Evening sale.

A comparable work in size and theme from the same year, Effet de Printemps à Giverny, which presents another field in the region at an earlier time of year was sold in 2010 for $15.2 million over a $10 million estimate. As alluded to above, much has happened in the Monet market in the dozen years that followed. And this particular work has one other wrinkle that adds to its perceived value. The painting was bought from the artist by the famous dealer Paul Durand-Ruel a year after it was made. Durand-Ruel held on to the work for 23 years until it was sold to the family of the current owner. That’s a rare provenance for any work by Monet.

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