Entertainment & Arts

Monet artwork bequeathed by reclusive heiress

Huguette Clark
Image caption Ms Clark chose to live in hospitals rather than her lavish US homes during the latter part of her life

A Monet painting kept out of public view for 86 years has been donated to a US gallery by a reclusive heiress.

Part of the artist's Water Lilies series, worth $25m (£15m), was left to the Corcoran Gallery by Huguette Clark, who died last month aged 104.

The Corcoran has a gallery which bears the name of her father Senator William A Clark, who died the same year the painting was created in 1925.

Ms Clark bequeathed a proportion of her $400m (£250m) fortune to the arts.

Understated lifestyle

Her father, who at one stage was the largest landowner in Nevada, was a keen art collector.

He donated his entire collection to the gallery, which is why an area of the venue was named after him.

Harry Hopper, chairman of the gallery's board of trustees, said: "The Corcoran is deeply grateful for the generosity of the Clark family over the years."

He added that the gallery would find a "happy home" for the donated Monet from Ms Clarke.

In her will, she stipulated that a foundation to foster the arts would be established after her death, while her oceanfront home in California will become a museum housing her collection of art treasures.

Ms Clark had not been to the property since the death of her mother in 1963.

Monet created about 250 oil paintings as part of his Water Lilies series.

The works, which are displayed all over the world, depict the French Impressionist master's flower garden.

Last year one of Monet's Water Lilies works sold for $24.7 million (£15m) at an auction in New York.

Image caption One of Monet's other works, Le Bassin aux Nympheas, sold for more than $80m

Another work by Monet, Le Bassin Aux Nympheas, was sold for $80.5m (£50m) at Christie's in London, in June 2008.

Ms Clark, who chose to live in hospitals rather than her homes in New York and California during the latter part of the life, also bequeathed sums to her nurse and a handful of close associates.

The heiress to a copper, timber and railroad fortune had no children and shunned the trappings of wealth in favour of a quiet and understated lifestyle, which included tending to an extensive doll collection.

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