For those who love the impressionists and modern art, Christie’s auction house is selling a Claude Monet painting. As part of the Nymphéas series, this work of art acheived immediate critical success. When the Nymphéas show finally opened at Durand-Ruel’s gallery in May 1909, it was an unqualified success. Including the present painting, forty-eight views of the lily pond were featured, more than Monet had ever exhibited from a single series. The critical response was overwhelmingly positive. The Paris correspondent for The Burlington Magazine, for instance, proclaimed, “One has never seen anything like it. These studies of water lilies and still water in every possible effect of light and at every hour of the day are beautiful to a degree which one can hardly express without seeming to exaggerate There is no other living artist who could have given us these marvelous effects of light and shadow, this glorious feast of color”. Another critic went so far as to declare that the series ranked alongside Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Beethoven’s last string quartets.
Although the garden was a favored subject for many of the Impressionists, including Manet, Renoir, and Caillebotte, no artist rivaled Monet in his dedication to the theme. Robert Herbert has written, “Of all the Impressionists it was Monet who was chiefly responsible for elevating the garden to the ranks of the most admired and influential paintings of the early modern era”, and Monet himself once told a journalist, “I perhaps owe it to flowers for having become a painter”.
This piece is estimated to sell for between $10,000,000-$15,000,000.