Nelson-Atkins Museum sells Monet Paintings at Christie's in May

Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Nelson-Atkins Museum sells Monet Paintings at Christie's in May

Claude Monet’s Moulin de Limetz ($18 million – 25 million) will be a leading highlight of the 20th Century Evening Sale at Christie's this May in New York. The work is being offered by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and the heirs of Ethel B. Atha. The museum’s sale proceeds will benefit future art acquisitions for the Nelson-Atkins.

Imogen Kerr, Christie’s Co-Head of the 20th Century Evening Sale, remarks: “Christie’s is honored to showcase Moulin de Limetz this spring as a leading highlight of our 20th Century Evening Sale, and we are particularly thrilled to announce this just days ahead of the exact date in April that marks the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition in Paris. Monet’s influence and impact over the last 150 years has been monumental, with an oeuvre that has categorically redefined the course of art history. It has been a true pleasure to collaborate with Julián Zugazagoitia and his team at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art along with the heirs of Ethel B. Atha and we look forward to presenting this exquisite painting to our clients this spring.”

"We are so grateful to the Atha family for their generosity, which has made it possible for us to share this wonderful Monet with our community for many years,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Director & CEO of the Nelson-Atkins. “This sale is also an opportunity for the museum to create the Joseph S. and Ethel B. Atha Art Acquisition Endowment with the auction proceeds that will allow us to acquire art to honor the family in perpetuity and continue adding to and refining our exceptional collection.”

Moulin de Limetz is one of only two all-important canvases by Claude Monet picturing the subject of the mill at Limetz-Villez, near Giverny. Painted in 1888, this example presents a prologue to Monet’s development into series, which would become a defining tenet of his late career. Featuring dazzling kaleidoscopic light that reflects and sparkles off the gently flowing water and shimmers off the rustling foliage, Monet’s painterly achievement radiates color with depth and complexity through layers of thick, rich and sumptuous pigment.

The painting carries with it impeccable provenance, emblematic of the importance of American patronage in the historical framework of the Impressionist art movement during the late 19th and early 20th century. Two years after its completion in 1888, storied art dealer Durand-Ruel acquired the painting from Monet; soon after it was purchased by collector Lucien Sauphar, with whom it remained until 1936. Then acquired jointly by Durand-Ruel and M. Knoedler & Co., the painting crossed the Atlantic and was bought by celebrated Kansas City collecting couple Joseph S. and Ethel B. Atha. In 1986, on partial bequest, the work entered the Nelson-Atkins Museum. Since then, the work has been shared between the museum and the Atha family; it most recently has been at the museum since 2008.

Main Image :Courtesy of Christie's

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