Art Market

Monet’s water lilies could bring $44 million at Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art sale in London.

Benjamin Sutton
Jun 7, 2019 4:03PM, via Sotheby’s

Claude Monet, Nymphéas, 1908, oil on canvas. Est. £25 million–35 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s is once again putting its money on Monet. A month after a Claude Monethaystack painting eclipsed its high estimate to sell for $110.7 million at Sotheby’s New York salesroom—setting a new record for the artist and marking the first Impressionist artwork to sell for over $100 million at Sotheby’s—the auction house has queued up a work from a different iconic series by the artist for its London sale. The water lily painting Nymphéas (1908) will be the marquee lot at Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art evening sale in London on June 19th, where it is expected to sell for between £25 million and £35 million ($31.7 million–44.4 million). The sale marks the auction debut for the painting, which has been in the same family collection since 1932.

Amedeo Modigliani, Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur less genoux, 1918, oil on canvas. Est. £16 million–24 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

The other star lot of the evening will come from another artist who has recently driven major results for Sotheby’s. Amedeo Modigliani’s 1918 painting Jeune homme assis, les mains croisées sur less genoux is expected to sell for between £16 million and £24 million ($20.3 million–$30.4 million), a significant sum that is nonetheless a far cry from Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) (1917), the dramatic nude portrait that sold for $157.2 million at Sotheby’s New York sale of Impressionist and modern art in May 2018. Like the Monet, the Modigliani will be making its auction debut; it was bought from dealer Léopold Zborowski in 1927 and has remained in a family’s collection ever since.

Joan Miró, Peinture (L’Air), 1938, oil on canvas. Est. £10 million–15 million. Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Other banner works headed to the auction block at Sotheby’s London salesroom later this month include the bold Joan Miró painting Peinture (L’Air) (1938), which is expected to bring between £10 million and £15 million ($12.6 million–19 million), and Pablo Picasso’s Homme à la pipe (1968), one of his large musketeer paintings, which is expected to sell in the £5.5 million to £7.5 million ($6.9 million–9.5 million) range.

Further Reading: $110.7-Million Haystack Painting Smashes Monet Record at Sotheby’s

Further Reading: $157 Million Modigliani Breaks Sotheby’s Record at Otherwise Underwhelming Impressionist and Modern Sale

Benjamin Sutton
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019