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A Monet sold for $74 million at auction in New York

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The masterpiece of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet, “Le bassin aux nymphéas”, was sold at auction for 74 million dollars on Thursday, November 10, in New York, during an exceptional evening at Christie’s, which realized 640 million dollars in sales.

The masterpiece of the French impressionist painter Claude Monet , “Le bassin aux nymphéas,” was sold at auction for $74 million on Friday, November 10, 2023, in New York, during an exceptional evening at Christie’s, which achieved 640 million dollars in sales.

Two auction houses neck and neck

Christie’s, owned by the Artémis holding of French billionaire François Pinault, and its competitor Sotheby’s, which belongs to Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, are in the middle of the fall auction season, from November 7 to 15. The two houses hope to break records and generate billions of dollars.

Sotheby’s, which sold a Picasso (“Woman with a Watch” – 1932) on Wednesday evening for 139 million dollars—the second most expensive work for the Spanish master who died in 1973 – is already at more than 400 million dollars in auctions this week. Christie’s is at 748 million, including 640 on Thursday evening alone. Since 2017, this is a record sum accumulated in a single evening of sales of works of art belonging to different collectors, Christie’s welcomed in a press release.

Three paintings by Paul Cézanne sold at this evening

The highlight of the evening, “Le bassin aux nymphéas” (1917-1919) by Claude Monet, estimated at 65 million dollars, went for 74 million under the hammer of the star auctioneer of Christie’s, the international president of the house , Jussi Pylkkänen, whose last appearance was at the Rockeffeler Center headquarters in Manhattan.

The director, who had announced that he was leaving after four decades of career, was applauded standing by wealthy collectors and art lovers in a crowded and ultra chic room, typical of these New York evenings. Three paintings by Paul Cézanne, including “Fruit and Ginger Pot” sold for nearly $39 million, were sold for the benefit of the Langmatt Museum in Baden, Switzerland, according to Christie’s.

Other records were also broken

Other individual records were broken Thursday evening: the work of the 20th century American expressionist painter Richard Diebenkornn, “Recollections of a Visit to Leningrad”, was sold for 46 million dollars and “Untitled”, by his compatriot Joan Mitchell , went for 29 million.

The auction houses Sotheby’s and  are pleased with the robust state of the art and luxury market in the midst of global crises, driven by China and Asia, and “with no indication” of a slowdown following an exceptional 2022 vintage with more than $16 billion in cumulative sales.

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