An exquisite piece of art history, a landscape painting by the renowned French impressionist Claude Monet, is set to make waves in the art world as it prepares for its debut on the auction block in Paris. Held in private collection since shortly after World War II, this painting is a rare find, stirring excitement amongst art enthusiasts and collectors who anticipate it to garner up to 3 million euros.
The piece, titled “Les Saules, Giverny” (“The Willows, Giverny”), was crafted in 1886 and showcases Monet’s virtuosity in capturing the essence of light and atmosphere that have come to define Impressionism. The painting is an embodiment of the quiet countryside of Giverny, where Monet spent much of his life from 1883 until his passing in 1926. The artwork captures the tranquility of the willows that lined his beloved home and garden, a retreat that spurred a plethora of his masterpieces.
This art treasure, which measures an impressive 73 by 92 centimeters, has been preserved within a family of Jewish origin, gracing their Parisian apartment since its purchase from a Nice gallery in 1948. Now, after decades of private enjoyment, it is making a rare appearance on the French art market, much to the anticipation of the local and international art communities.
David Nordmann, the Ader auctioneer, emphasizes the uniqueness of this event, considering that works by Monet of this caliber and size have become exceedingly scarce in France. Mostly, they reside in prominent museums or private foreign collections, which makes this sale particularly significant for the French art market.
“Les Saules, Giverny,” while not as universally recognized as Monet’s “Water Lilies” series or his “Gare Saint-Lazare” paintings that have reached staggering auction prices, is nonetheless distinguished by Monet’s iconic treatment of light and his signature brushwork. This painting is a classic Monet: a moment of natural beauty frozen in time through his rapid and expressive use of color and light.
Giverny was more than a residence for Monet; it was a source of inspiration. There he meticulously cultivated his gardens, complete with a Japanese bridge and the famous water lilies, both subjects that repeatedly appear in his work. His home in Giverny was not merely a backdrop but an integral part of his artistic journey, a haven that fueled his creativity.
The upcoming auction, held at the esteemed Hotel Drouot, will not only present this rare Monet to the public but also feature other significant works, including a painting by American artist Mary Cassatt. Cassatt’s “Portrait de Jeune Fille au Chapeau Blanc” (“Portrait of a Young Woman in a White Hat”), with its own estimate of 800,000 to 1.2 million euros, highlights the breadth and variety of the impressionist and modern art pieces on offer.