The price tag set a world auction record for any work by Claude Monet and any work of Impressionist art

By Helen Murphy
May 15, 2019 11:22 AM

A painting from Claude Monet’s iconic haystack series went for a record $110.7 million at an auction on Tuesday night.

The 1890 painting, titled “Meules,” was sold at Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist & Modern Art. The auction house said that the high price tag broke the world record for any work by Monet, and also became the first work of Impressionist art to cross the $100 million threshold at an auction.

“Meules” was one in a series of 25 haystack paintings that Monet created in the 1890s. Eight reside in private collections, while the 17 others are housed in museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, according to the auction houseOnly four of them, including the work auctioned on Tuesday night, have been brought to auction this century.

The auction for the painting lasted eight minutes and involved seven bidders. Sotheby’s did not provide any details about the winning bidder, who remained anonymous.

John Lamparski/Getty Images

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On Tuesday night, the painting also became the ninth most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, according to Sotheby’s. (At the top of that list is Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which sold for a staggering $450.3 million in 2017.)

“It was a fantastic night for classic Impressionist art,” said August Uribe, Sotheby’s head of Impressionist & Modern Art, “highlighted of course by the extraordinary work by Claude Monet that made auction history both for the artist and for any Impressionist work of art.”

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Uribe continued: “One of the most recognizable images in art history, Monet’s ‘Haystacks’ series has long served as an inspiration to countless artists since its creation in the early 1890s.”

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