Claude Monet painting sold for nearly $35 million at auction in New York

A painting by the painter Claude Monet, a major French figure of impressionism, was sold on Wednesday evening May 15 at auction in New York

Claude Monet painting sold for nearly $35 million at auction in New York

A painting by the painter Claude Monet, a major French figure of impressionism, was sold on Wednesday evening May 15 at auction in New York. It was sold for $34.8 million (€32 million), Sotheby’s announced.

After a decline in the global art market in 2023, the major auction houses Christie's and Sotheby's launched their spring sales on Monday in the American capital of arts and finance, in a rather optimistic climate after good results at London and Paris.

Sotheby’s, which belongs to Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, reported Wednesday evening the sale online, by telephone and at its Manhattan headquarters, of around fifty modern art paintings for $235 million.

One of the most expensive paintings presented, Meules à Giverny (1893), by Claude Monet, was sold “in an eight-minute bidding war,” a spokesperson said. And a work by the British-Mexican Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) broke an auction record for the artist with Les Distractions de Dagobert, sold for $28.5 million to a buyer “in the room after a battle of ten minutes ". This “places Carrington among the five highest-rated female artists, ahead of male surrealists, Max Ernst and Salvador Dali,” Sotheby’s argued.

Cyberattack at Christie’s

Its competitor Christie's, owned by the Artémis holding company, controlled by French billionaire François Pinault, has suffered a cyberattack since Thursday May 9 which disrupted its website, where part of the auctions take place. But the company assured that it had “managed” this “technological security problem”.

During its evening on Tuesday at its prestigious Rockefeller Center headquarters in the heart of Manhattan, Christie's sold $115 million worth of contemporary art, including part of the collection of a famous Cuban-American art dealer. from Miami who died in February, Rosa de la Cruz.

A painting by the American Jean-Michel Basquiat The Italian Version of Popeye has no Pork in his Diet also sold for $32 million, far from the records of the New York artist who died at the age of 27 in 1988. Moreover, Basquiat also dominated both evenings Tuesday and Wednesday at the small Phillips auction house with Untitled (ELMAR) sold for $46.5 million.

Against the backdrop of wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, with fewer Russian buyers in the market, global art auctions reached $14.9 billion in 2023, up from $16 billion in 2022 (− 14.5%), the year we emerged from the pandemic which had shattered all ceilings.