Page last updated at 10:01 GMT, Thursday, 5 February 2009

Monet painting auctioned for 11m

Dans La Prairie by Claude Monet
The work captures a moment in a meadow north of Paris

Dans La Prairie, an oil painting by Claude Monet, has sold for more than 11m at a London auction, but fell short of its estimated price of 15m.

The image of his wife, Camille, reading in a field of wild flowers sold for 11,241,250, Christie's said.

The artist's La Promenade d'Argenteuil, which had been expected to fetch 5m, failed to find a buyer.

Paintings by Renoir and Matisse also failed to reach reserve prices in the sale of Impressionist and Modern art.

Sales fluctuations

Paul Gaugin's Les Dindons, Pont Aven, just managed to make its reserve of 2m.

But other works exceeded their estimates, including Modigliani's dual portrait Les deux filles which sold for 6.5m - more than 1m above expectations.

It was the first time that the painting had been put up for auction.

A Henry Moore sculpture, Reclining Mother and Child, also fetched more than the predicted 2m.

The auction was seen as a further test of the art market's health in difficult economic conditions.

Last November, a number of art sales in New York caused concern when several high profile works failed to sell.

Monet's Le Bassin Aux Nympheas sold for more than 40m in June 2008.

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