NEW YORK – Six paintings by French impressionist painter Claude Monet are among the stars heading for New York City's spring art auctions that could realize between $78 million and $110 million, Sotheby's announced Friday.
The works, which span five decades of the artist's career and represent his most indelible scenes, will appear at the auction house's impressionist and modern art sale on May 5. All have long been in private collections.
The group's crown jewel is a 1905 piece from the artist's "Water Lilies" series that is estimated to bring $30 million to $45 million. It was first owned by the Swiss collectors Emil and Alma Staub-Terlinden before being acquired in 1955 by the current owner.
A 1908 painting of Venice with a view of the Palazzo Ducale on the Grand Canal is expected to fetch $15 million to $20 million. It was confiscated by the Nazis from the noted collector Jakob Goldschmidt and reclaimed by his son in 1960. It descended to Goldschmidt's grandson who died in 2014.
Two years before the confiscation, in 1958, Sotheby's held an auction dedicated to a group of works that Goldschmidt had been able to get out of Germany, hidden in car trunks and through the help of friends.
The other four Monet paintings in the May sale have pre-sale estimates ranging from $3 million to $18 million.
Last year, Sotheby's sold 18 Monets for $190.5 million. That sale included another of his water lily paintings from 1906 that sold for $54.1 million. In February, Sotheby's sold five Monets in London for a total of $83.8 million.
The current record for a work by Monet is his 1919 "Water Lily Pond," which sold for $80.5 million at Christie's in 2008.