Monet’s Masterpiece Emerges for Auction at Christie’s

In a momentous unveiling, Christie’s recently announced “Le bassin aux nymphéas,” a colossal canvas from Monet’s illustrious water lily series, taking centre stage at the 20th Century Evening Sale on November 9, 2023.

Delve into the essence of this masterpiece, its historical significance, and the anticipation surrounding its estimated value exceeding $65 million.

The Rediscovery of “Le Bassin aux Nymphéas”

Max Carter, Christie’s Vice Chairman of 20th and 21st Century Art, expresses his excitement about this exceptional find. “With Monet, seemingly everything has already been seen or said. Le bassin aux nymphéas, which has never been exhibited or offered at auction, is, however, that rarest thing: A masterpiece rediscovered.”

This hidden treasure, tucked away in a private collection for over half a century since 1972, has remained untouched and impeccably preserved. “Le bassin aux nymphéas” emerges, thickly worked and captivating as ever.

Monet's Masterpiece Emerges for Auction at Christie's

Monet’s Giverny Gardens: A Vision of Late Impressionism

Monet’s Giverny garden paintings are landmarks of late Impressionism, representing some of the most innovative and influential works of his career. In the last 25 years of his life, Monet dedicated himself to capturing the scenic beauty of his home, resulting in a richly diverse body of work. “Le bassin aux nymphéas” stands as a pivotal piece from this celebrated series, measuring over two meters wide.

A Monet Nymphéas of such scale and quality has not graced an auction since May 2018, when a canvas from The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller achieved a staggering $84.7 million.

A Lasting Legacy

“Le bassin aux nymphéas” hails from the years 1917-1919, a critical phase in Monet’s artistic evolution. During this period, Monet embarked on an ambitious endeavour, aiming to create mural-sized renditions of his beloved water lily motif. These monumental depictions are a testament to his desire to transcend the boundaries of traditional landscape art.

The canvas bursts with gestural, vibrant bursts of colour that converge to form the aquatic landscape. The vigour and dynamism of the brushwork reveal the astonishing energy behind Monet’s artistry, even in the twilight of his career. While initially met with mixed reviews by his contemporaries, these revolutionary compositions found renewed appreciation among the emerging Abstract Expressionist movement and later generations of art enthusiasts.

Monet’s water lily paintings have evolved into some of the most coveted and celebrated masterpieces of Impressionism. They grace esteemed private and institutional collections worldwide, embodying the enduring allure of Monet’s artistic genius.

In conclusion, “Le bassin aux nymphéas” emerges from the shadows, offering art aficionados a rare glimpse into Monet’s revolutionary vision of natural beauty. Its upcoming auction promises to be a momentous occasion, rekindling the world’s fascination with the transcendent artistry of Claude Monet.

Images: Christie’s

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