News / Arts & Entertainment

Monet 'Water Lilies' Fetches $55M in London Auction

A gallery assistant poses with the painting Nympheas by Claude Monet at a photo-call for Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby's auction house in London, June 18, 2014.
A gallery assistant poses with the painting Nympheas by Claude Monet at a photo-call for Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby's auction house in London, June 18, 2014.
Reuters
A Claude Monet painting of water lilies sold for almost 32 million pounds (US$55 million) at auction in London on Monday, the second highest price ever paid for the artist at auction and confirming the global hunt is still on for “trophy paintings”, Sotheby's said.
 
The auction of 46 modern and impressionist works, of which four did not meet reserve prices, brought in just under 122 million pounds, Sotheby's said.
 
Helena Newman, co-chairman of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art department, said the result “was up there with the top end of the estimate”.
 
She said buyers were especially interested in works from renowned private collections and had come from all over the world.

“I don't have the full geographical breakdown yet but there was certainly very, very global participation tonight,” she said.
 
The bidding for the Monet water lilies painted in a square format in 1906 went on for some 10 minutes, involving buyers from Asia, at the packed Sotheby's auction house in central London, Sotheby's said.
 
In its final stages the price went up by 250,000-pound increments until reaching the final all-in price of 31.722 million pounds.
 
The same work, which Sotheby's said had set a record for Monet water lilies in a square format, had been offered in 2010 and failed to reach its reserve price. Newman attributed the success of the sale this time to “the fact that the estimate seemed to be more realistic,” although it was still a huge sum of money.
 
Asked what had driven buyers to fork out such large sums, Philip Hook, senior director of the impressionist and modern pictures department at Sotheby's, said, “The nympheas [water lilies] selling for such a huge sum is again a reflection that this is still a market that is driven by trophies, that the great works by the major masters are still really sought after.”
 
The other top-priced painting was a Piet Mondrian 1927 “Composition with Red, Blue and Gray,” which sold for 15.2 million pounds ($25.9 million), or somewhat less than the house's top estimate of 18 million pounds.
 
Most of the works on offer, which included paintings by Sisley, Picasso, Manet and Kandinsky, sold at close to the top end of the pre-auction estimates and sometimes above.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

Border Crossings: Nnekai
|| 0:00:00
...  
🔇
X
August 26, 2015 2:42 PM
Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.

Nigerian singer, songwriter Nneka sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London to perform songs from her latest CD, "My Fairy Tales" and to talk about her inspirations and influences.