Christie's is pulling out all the stops for its next New York "20th Century Evening Sale." On this occasion, the auction house will offer "Au jardin, la famille de l'artiste" by Claude Monet. This painting has not appeared on the market for nearly four decades.
This painting depicts Monet's family in an intimate moment as they enjoy the calm and quiet atmosphere of their garden. It was painted in 1875, a year after the artist introduced the Parisian public to his "plein air" paintings at the first Impressionist exhibition.
Although Monet showed an interest in gardens from his youth, it was not until he moved to Argenteuil in 1871 that the subject became increasingly important to him. "Gardening was something I learned in my youth when I was unhappy. I perhaps owe it to flowers that I became a painter," the artist once said.
This fascination with horticulture culminated in his move to Giverny in Normandy, where he had a bucolic water garden built, with a pond covered with water lilies. Over the years, he created more than 250 versions of this garden for his "Water Lilies" series.
A rarely exhibited canvas
While "Au jardin, la famille de l'artiste" does not belong to this coveted series of highly collected works, it promises to make an impact when it goes under the hammer on November 11 during the "20th Century Evening Sale" . It could fetch between $12 million and $18 million, according to Christie's estimates. This is a far cry from the record price of $110.7 million, which a painting from the "Haystacks" series was acquired at Sotheby's in 2019.
However, bidding is likely to go high for "Au jardin, la famille de l'artiste," given its rarity and prestigious provenance. As Christie's points out, the painting has only been publicly exhibited a handful of times since its creation. It was also last seen at auction in 1984, and has remained in the same collection since.
Before going up on the auction block in New York, "Au jardin, la famille de l'artiste" will be on view in Christie's Hong Kong galleries (October 7-12) before moving to the auction house's London galleries (October 18-21).