Monet the Money Maker

Forget the World Cup, the sale of Monet’s 1906 painting ‘Nymphéas’ (‘Water lilies’) for a staggering £31.7 million ($54 million) is what’s worth celebrating.

June 23, 2014: Sotheby’s London Evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art was surely the place to be. A room full of hushed anticipation as prospective buyers eyes gaze attentively at the auctioneer, catalogues in hand and bid paddle at the ready; the starting bid is announced and it begins. A steady rhythm of hands and paddles raise into the air, accompanied by the erratic ringing of telephones. As the price begins to climb, like numbers on a score board, the bidding whips up into a frenzy; each bidder a player in the game, determined to win his prize through resilience and deep pockets. Then, just as quick as it began it’s over, a flick of a paddle, a pause, and the bang of the gavel. We have a winner. (See auctions can be just as exciting as sports games…) The night, though maybe not as exhilarating as a sporting event to most, was indeed eventful. The sale totaling at £121.9 million (about $207 million) was full of works by the best of the best Picasso, Mondrian, Manet, Giacometti, Braque, and Kandinsky just to name a few. Other than the Monet, which was the star of the night, another noteworthy gem was Mondrian’s 1927 masterpiece, ‘Composition with Red, Blue and Grey’, which sold for £15.2 million ($25.8). See some other auction highlights below!

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See all lot results here.




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