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Chinese private collector acquires rare Monet painting from the artist's mature period
This vibrant landscape is the largest in a series of three major paintings depicting the rose arch at Giverny. Photo: Sotheby's.

NEW YORK, NY.- A vibrant and beautiful painting by Claude Monet depicting the artist’s beloved Giverny gardens, which had not been offered on the market for almost a quarter of a century, was purchased in Tuesday night’s Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby’s in New York by a Chinese private collector. Representing the artist at the height of his mature style, Bassin aux nymphéas, les rosiers ranks as one of the most important examples among the boldly modern works of Monet’s career, when he elevated the tenets of Impressionism to new heights.

David Norman, Co-Head of Sotheby’s Worldwide Impressionist & Modern Art Department, commented: “Basin aux Basin aux nymphéas, les rosiers ranks amongst the best of Monet’s depictions of the brilliant, sun-struck expanse of his fabled water lily pond. Having passed through the hands of celebrated dealer and connoisseur Durand-Ruel, and with a sister painting currently in an illustrious American institution, this rare view of rose-covered arches (one of only three views of this subject) is testimony to Monet’s groundbreaking artistic innovations in the early decades of the twentieth century. While Monet’s first series of paintings of the water lilies (1903-08) have long been sought by collectors, we have seen the market for the second, heroic phase (from 1913 to his final year, 1925) begin a rapid ascent due to collectors’ ever-increasing appetite for the highest quality works and fuelled by the ‘modernity’ of these mature works and their prescient nod towards abstraction. Tuesday’s sale offered a rare opportunity to secure a work of this caliber.”

Painted in 1913, Bassin aux nymphéas, les rosiers depicts a rose arch overlooking the tranquil surface of a pond with scattered clusters of water lilies. The work is the largest from a series of three oils the artist produced from this precise vantage point, one of which is now housed at the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, while the remaining work resides in a private collection. Monet offsets the bright, bursting roses on the garden arch with their muted, pastel reflections on the pond’s surface and in response to the boundless energy of his Giverny garden in the verdant months of summer, he has delivered a display of jubilant brushwork.

The painting sold for $20,410,000 in Tuesday night’s Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s New York, which totaled $368.3 million (estimate $257.6/351 million). Together with the Day Sale total of $51.1 million, this brings the Company’s 2015 sales in this category to $739.4 million to-date.

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