One of Monet's Finest Large-Scale Waterlilies Ever to Appear at Auction

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One of Monet's Finest Large-Scale Waterlilies Ever to Appear at Auction


The Wednesday 12 May 2021, one of Claude Monet's most incredible paintings will be offered at Sotheby's evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in New York.

Le Bassin aux Nymphéas, painted between 1917 and 1919 at Monet's home in Giverny, measures 40 by 79 inches. It is one of the paintings in an emblematic series of Monet's works. This painting is decisive in Monet's artistic career, as it shows his artistic turn. It shows the transition from impressionism to abstract expressionism. Julian Dawes, co-head of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Department in New York notes, "As a remarkable example of Monet's late period works from his beloved Giverny home, this monumental painting beautifully encapsulates the way Monet's work evolved over time, moving from his Impressionist breakthroughs to a more abstract orientation with his preoccupation with his pond and water lilies."

The work itself, has a particular history. It is twice as large as the first water lilies painted by Claude Monet. It was in the possession of a famous Hollywood and Broadway producer Ray Starck, who decided to give it up for sale, the work will first be exhibited in Taipei one last time before being offered for sale on Wednesday.

The subject of Water Lilies was a major subject in Monet's career. Indeed, it was the defining motif of the last years of his life, in which we see the evolution of his art and his life. After buying his house in 1890 and the adjacent land, he had the gardens transformed into a large pond. Over the years, he decorated this beautiful place with different trees, different flowers and also a small bridge. This setting was to inspire many of his works. Indeed, we will see a series of works revolving around this beautiful pond, with various colours depending on the seasons and the time of day Claude Monet decided to paint. He said, "It took me a long time to understand my water lilies. I planted them for pure pleasure, I made them grow without thinking of painting them. A landscape takes more than a day to penetrate you. And then, all at once, I had an epiphany - how wonderful my pond was - and I picked up my palette. I've hardly had another subject since then."

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