Claude Monet masterpiece fetches $70.4m at auction

An impressionist masterwork from Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” series smashed price expectations in New York. Le Bassin aux nymphéas (Water Lily Pond, 1919), a celebrated work from Charles Monet’s iconic Water Lilies series of paintings, was reportedly sold for near $70.4 million (€58.3 million) in New York.

The price is among the top five for works by the artist to be sold at auction — the $110.7 million record was set in 2019 for a painting from Monet’s “Haystacks” series. It far outstripped the price for works by Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne also sold at the Sotheby’s contemporary art auction. 

Claude Monet’s water lily paintings are among the most beloved works of impressionist art. The renowned painter spent hours in his garden in Giverny, a small village 70 kilometers from Paris, painting the lilies, or nymphéas, that he lovingly cultivated. The garden was his place of inspiration, a cherished retreat during World War I.

Today, the public can visit the French impressionist’s ornamental garden, complete with the famous pond where his water lilies bloomed.

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