Monet's “Meules” sells for record $110.7 million

Claude Monet painting, part of the Haystacks “Les Meules” series, is displayed on May 3, 2019 at Sotheby’s in New York during a press preview of auction house’s impressionist and modern art sale LUCAS JACKSON / REUTERS

New York — One of Claude Monet’s iconic paintings of haystacks has fetched a record $110.7 million at an auction in New York.

Monet’s “Meules” was sold at Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist & Modern Art Tuesday night. The auction house says it’s a world auction record for the artist and the first work of Impressionist art to cross the $100 million threshold at auction.

The 1890 painting is one of only four works from Monet’s acclaimed “Haystacks” series to come to auction this century, and one of only eight examples remaining in private hands. The 17 others reside at museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

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The previous owners had purchased the painting in 1986 for $2.53 million. Sotheby’s did not provide any details on the new buyer.

According to the Reuters news service, Sotheby’s said “Meules” was purchased by wealthy Chicago

socialites from Monet’s dealer in the 1890s and the oil-on-canvas work was kept in that family until the 1986 sale.

Tuesday’s auction took eight minutes, Reuters said, adding that the buyer topped five other bidders. 

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