Spring / Summer 2021

Art & Auctions
Monumental Monet

One of the most exquisite examples of Claude Monet’s Nymphéas series to come to market in recent history will be the highlight of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening sale on May 12 in New York.

Painted in 1917-19, Le Bassin aux nymphéas comes from the artist’s legacy-defining late body of work and heralds the dawn of Modernism in its increasingly abstract handling.

One of Claude Monet’s finest large-scale Water Lilies paintings ever to appear at auction, it is estimated to sell for in excess of $40 million and stands among the most iconic and celebrated Impressionist images.

Measuring nearly 40 by 79 inches, this enrapturing canvas was conceived as part of the artist’s legendary series of monumental paintings depicting his water lily pond at Giverny, the Grandes Décorations, which he began in 1914 and examples of which can be found today in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris and The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The series took Monet’s paintings of the tranquil lily pond in a radical new direction and were twice the size of his earlier Water Lilies.

The monumental painting is joined by an alluring floral still life and a historic landscape by the Impressionist master as well as an exemplary still life by Paul Cézanne. One of the finest examples in private hands, Nature Morte: pommes et poires encapsulates the pioneering trajectory of artistry in the late nineteenth century.

These era-defining paintings are joined by a suite of exquisite works on paper including a rich and luminous pastel Danseuse by Edgar Degas, two gouaches by the Expressionist master Egon Schiele and a trio of lyrical works from Pablo Picasso’s late oeuvre.  

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