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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 06:46 GMT 07:46 UK
Monet art sale raises millions
Monet's Matinée sur la Seine, près de Giverny
Matinée sur la Seine, 1896, shows Epte and Seine rivers
A sale of impressionist and modern art, including work by Monet, has raised £33.3m - the highest total for such a sale in over a decade.

Monet's Matinée sur la Seine, près de Giverny was the star lot at Christie's auction house in London and was sold for £3.2m.


This is a clear indicator of the quality of works on offer and where the market stands at present

Jussi Pylkkanen of Christie's

But the Monet was upstaged by a world auction record for the Spanish cubist artist Juan Gris.

Gris' work Le Gueridon, painted in 1914, fetched £4.4m.

"This is the highest total for an impressionist and modern art sale held here in London for over a decade, which is a clear indicator of the quality of the works on offer and where the market stands at present," said Jussi Pylkkanen of Christie's.

A separate sale of post-war art raised £3.9m.

The top lot was an untitled piece by Mark Rothko, painted in 1968, which sold for £718,750.

In a rare coincidence, another scarcely seen Monet painting is available in a separate sale at Sotheby's on Tuesday.

Meules, Derniers Rayons de Soleil - usually known as Haystacks but which actually depicts grain stacks - could fetch up to £7m.

Monet's Nympheas
Monet's Nympheas fetched $22.5m (£15.6m) in 1999
Painted in Normandy in 1890, it has not been exhibited for more than 100 years.

One other Monet painting, Au Parc Monceau, will also be sold - from which a proportion of the expected £1.5 to £2m takings will go towards a Jewish family that was forced to sell it by the Nazis in 1935.

It had belonged to Ludwig Kainer, a painter, illustrator and set designer who worked for the Ballet Russes and the Berlin opera, before one of a number of "Jew auctions".

A spokesman for Sotheby's declined to reveal what proportion of the money will go to Kainer's descendants and how much to the current owner, a European collector who wants to stay anonymous.

Paintings by Renoir, Van Gogh and Chagall will also form part of the Sotheby's auction.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Rosie Millard
"It's one of the top auctions of the year"
See also:

20 Jan 99 | Entertainment
London goes Monet mad
22 Jan 99 | Join The Debate
Monet Picture Gallery
26 Jun 01 | Arts
Monet marvels on sale
26 Apr 01 | Arts
Monet marvel goes on display
09 Nov 99 | Americas
Monet waterlilies fetch $22.5m
19 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Monet show leaves big impression
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