Entertainment & Arts

Monet water lily to be auctioned at Christie's

Monet's Nympheas, 1906
Image caption Nympheas is the largest of nine surviving Monet pieces from 1906

A Monet water-lily painting is to be auctioned in London with an estimated price of between £30m and £40m.

1906 work Nympheas, one of a series painted in his Giverny water garden, is in a 23 June Christie's sale expected to fetch between £160m and £230m.

That would beat the £147m London record set at Sotheby's in February.

The sale will also feature a "blue period" Picasso, expected to fetch up to £40m, as well as works by Magritte, Klimt and Van Gogh.

Nympheas is one of five paintings which formed part of his celebrated display of water lilies at a 1909 exhibition in Paris.

The record for a Monet was the £41m paid for Le Bassin Aux Nympheas at Christie's, in London, in June 2008.

Christie's director and head of impressionist and modern art, Giovanna Bertazzoni, said: "Claude Monet's water-lily paintings are amongst the most recognised and celebrated works of the 20th Century and were hugely influential to many of the following generations of artists."

Picasso's 1903 painting, Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto, is also expected to fetch between £30m and £40m.

The work, described by Christie's earlier this year as "one of the most important works of art to be offered at auction in decades", is owned by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation.

Other works in the Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Sale include Klimt's Frauenbildnis (Portrait of Ria Munk III), which has an estimate of £14m to £18m, and Van Gogh's Parc de l'hopital Saint-Paul - £8m to £12m.

Matisse's Nu a la chaise longue is estimated to fetch between £5.5m and £8.5m while Magritte's Les Barricades Mysterieuses is expected to sell for between £3m and £4m.

Picasso's Le Baiser - £8m to £12m - and La Liseuse - £6m to £9m - are also in the sale.

Prices have soared in the art market in recent months.

Last month, Picasso's 1932 picture Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was sold at Christie's in New York for $106m (£72m) making it the most expensive art work sold at auction.

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