The five paintings, which together chart the French master’s shift to a more abstract style over a 15-year period, will be offered for auction in London in March, Sotheby’s said.
The works all predate 1900 — which means they offer an insight into the artist’s development and style before he painted the most celebrated pieces from his “Water Lilies” series in the early 20th century.
“In charting the progression towards his great waterlily paintings, these five stunning works brilliantly articulate the story of Monet as the father of modern art,” said Helena Newman, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and worldwide head of Impressionist and Modern art.
“Les Demoiselles de Giverny” is the highest valued work of the five Monet paintings to go on sale in March Credit: Sotheby’s
It is the highest valued of the five works in the collection.
Another of the paintings, a canvas populated entirely by flowers titled “Massif de chrysanthèmes” from 1897, can be viewed as a precursor for Monet’s most famous works from the “Water Lilies” series, Sotheby’s said in a press release. In fact, his first water lily paintings date from the exact same year that he produced these close-ups of flowers.
“Glaçons, environs de Bennecourt” is seen as possessing some of the the same motifs and style as the French Impressionist’s later “Water Lilies” paintings Credit: Sotheby’s
“Glaçons, environs de Bennecourt,” included in the collection, also demonstrates Monet’s journey towards the later water lily paintings, the auction house said. This painting conveys the effect of heavy snow and frost on the Seine, and the artist’s depiction of the ice on the river’s surface is not dissimilar to the portrayal of flowers on the water in the works he began a few years later, Sotheby’s noted.
The paintings will go in display in Sotheby’s galleries in New York, Hong Kong, Taipei and London before the sale on March 2.
This article was updated to reflect Monet’s painting style.
Early works by French master Monet could sell for $50 million in auction