Claude Monet's personal collection up for sale in rare Christie's auction
A collection of artworks and objects from the personal collection of painter Claude Monet is heading for auction in Hong Kong.
The sale will feature several early works by Monet, the founder of French Impressionism, along with works by his friends such as Édouard Manet, Auguste Rodin and Paul Signac.
Also included are Monet's own collection of Japanese prints from the 18th and 19th centuries, original photographs of him at home in Giverny, and personal effects such as his spectacles.
The whereabouts of these items were unknown for decades, although they had in fact remained in Monet's family.
According to Christie's, the collection was preserved by Rolande Verneiges, "an unrecognized yet protected daughter of Claude Monet’s son Michel", who gifted the pieces to her over the years without officially acknowledging her.
Verneiges passed away in 2008, and the rediscovered treasure trove will now be offered at auction by her descendants.
The most valuable lots on offer are Monet's pastel works, such as Trois arbres à Giverny (Peupliers), dating from 1887, estimated at $2 - $3 million; and the coastal scene Falaises des Petites-Dalles, executed in 1884, estimated at $1.5 - $2.5 million.
Early works that trace his artistic development include Croquis d’enfants (1857), estimated at $20,000 - $30,000 and Barques échouées sur la plage (circa 1860-61), estimated at $50,000 - $80,000.
Both drawings originate from Monet's first major sketchbooks, and are amongst the most important examples of his youthful talents.
"It is a huge honour for Christie’s to offer these re-discovered pieces at auction for the first time," said Adrien Meyer, Co-Chairman of the Impressionist and Modern Department.
"This collection provides an intimate insight into the life of Monet the artist and Monet the collector. Not only can we witness the development of Monet’s style but we trace what inspired him to strive for ground-breaking modes of representation."
With prices ranging from $500 - $3 million, the sale – entitled Dear Monsieur Monet – takes place in Hong Kong on November 26, and will also be streamed in real-time to the Christie's auction room in Paris.
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