Monet Haystack Painting Could Fetch $30 Million at Auction Next Month

A rare example of a Monet haystack at auction, Meules à Giverny (1893) will be offered at Sotheby's in its Modern Evening Auction on May 15.

Apr 26, 2024By Emily Snow, MA History of Art, BA Art History & Curatorial Studies



Sotheby’s is set to sell Claude Monet’s Meules à Giverny (1893) in its Modern Evening Auction on May 15. One of just a few Monet haystack paintings to show up at auction in recent years, it is estimated to sell for an “excess of $30 million,” according to the auction house.


Meules à Giverny

Meules à Giverny by Claude Monet, 1893. Source: Sotheby’s.


Meules à Giverny is a stunning, sun-filled haystack painting by Claude Monet with a unique trans-Atlantic backstory. One of the first Monet paintings to come to the United States from France, Meules à Giverny was first purchased in Paris by American landscape painter Dwight Blaney. He then lent the painting to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and other institutions, and it has remained exclusively in U.S. art collections since.


Haystacks are a common motif in Monet’s signature serialized paintings. As he did with water lilies and the Japanese bridge at his Giverny home, Monet often observed the large haystacks that dotted the sprawling landscapes of rural France, painting them plein air in various atmospheric and seasonal conditions.


“Reflecting on the 150th anniversary of the very first Impressionist exhibition, we cannot take for granted how truly radical Monet was as a painter,” said Allegra Bettini, the head of the Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction in New York. “With his haystacks, the revolutionary ideas and techniques that initially defined Impressionism are expertly employed during a moment of significant transformation for the artist.”

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A Monet Haystack Painting Set Auction Records in 2019

Sotheby’s headquarters in New York City. Source: Wikipedia Commons.


Five years ago, another Monet haystack painting sold for $110.7 million at Sotheby’s. Doubling its estimated sale price, Meules (1890) became the most expensive Monet sold at auction, as well as the most expensive piece by any Impressionist artist sold at auction. Although Meules à Giverny is not predicted to fetch nine figures, as one of Monet’s last haystack paintings, it is considered a significant piece of the artist’s oeuvre.


Sotheby’s is not the only New York auction house offering a major Monet painting in its upcoming May sales. Christie’s is set to auction its own Monet masterpiece with an estimated sale price of $18 million.


Another Monet Will Also Sell at Sotheby’s

Bennecourt by Claude Monet, 1887. Source: Sotheby’s.


Meules à Giverny is one of several works being sold from the same private American art collection at the May 15 auction at Sotheby’s. “Assembled over four decades with meticulous care and attention, this collection stands as an expert guide to understanding the foundations of 20th century art,” said Benjamin Doller, Chairman of the Americas at Sotheby’s.


Along with the haystack painting, another Monet from the same collection is up for auction. Originally gifted by Monet to American painter John Singer Sargent, Bennecourt (1887) is expected to fetch between $6 million and $8 million. An early Picasso depicting a bullfight, a Camille Pissarro landscape, and an American Impressionist painting by Childe Hassam are among the other collection highlights heading to the auction block.

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By Emily SnowMA History of Art, BA Art History & Curatorial StudiesEmily Snow is a contributing writer and art historian based in Amsterdam. She earned an MA in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art and loves knitting, her calico cat, and everything Victorian.