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Tuesday, June 30, 1998 Published at 22:35 GMT 23:35 UK


Monet sold for 19m

The picture is one of a series painting in 1900

A painting by Claude Monet sold in London for more than 19m has set a new record for the French impressionist's work.

Monet's Waterlily Pond and Path by Water fetched 19,801,500 at Sotheby's in London.

The price is the highest yet paid for a Monet at auction, the previous record standing at 13m.

Anonymous buyer

The work, which had an estimated sale price of up to 6m, is part of a series painted by the artist in his garden at Giverny, France, in 1900.

Most of the auction was carried out by telephone bidders, as was the winning anonymous bid.

[ image: The sale set a new record for the impressionist's work]
The sale set a new record for the impressionist's work
The painting of a Japanese bridge and water garden is the most expensive French Impressionist picture sold at auction in Europe since 1990.

The picture had belonged to a British collector but had not been seen in public since he bought it in 1954.

Applause brokeout in the sales room when the hammer fell to the anonymous new owner.

The sale was the highlight of an evening auction of Impressionist and Modern art.

'Tremendous success'

The oil, one of a series, came from the last period of Monet's life, which is now acknowledged as the climax of French Impressionism.

Sotheby's director of Impressionist art, Philip Cook, hailed the sale as "a tremendous success."

He said: "It is great for the art market in general and especially for the London art market."

Other pictures in the series are now in major museums in London and Paris.

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