The 8 Most Expensive Monet Paintings Ever Sold

Oscar-Claude Monet was a famous 19th-century French painter. He coined the term ‘Impressionism’ and was one of the rare painters to become famous and wealthy to the end of his days. Although he lived until 1926, his paintings are causing a sensation today. Here is the list of the most expensive Monet paintings ever sold.


8th Cloudy weather on Waterloo Bridge, 1904

Bid: Christie’s, 2007 auction price: $35,539,140

While staying at the Savoy Hotel in London next to Waterloo Bridge, Monet painted forty-one versions of the bridge and this painting is one of them. The delicate but vibrant pink and red colors depict early morning traffic. The vertical smoking chimneys at the back of the painting balance the horizontal bridge. Monet tried to portray the atmosphere of London using beautiful lighting effects, smoke and fog. In all he had eight boxes of paintings and about eighty unfinished sketches of the bridge.

Monet probably did not think that one day, in 2007, an unknown buyer would buy his painting for such a large sum. However, what is appreciated is the atmosphere and attitude that the painting brings.

7 The Grand Canal, 1908

Bid: Sotheby’s, 2015. Auction price: $35,567,406

This is one of the most famous Venice paintings in the world. During his three-month vacation, Monet drew six paintings of the same place. It was Santa Maria della Salute from the steps of Palazzo Barbaro. He worked with each of the six paintings with the same subject and at the same time each day to capture the differences in the lights deflected by the haze. Although he spent two hours a day in the same place, the view of the surroundings of the Catholic Church was always different.

The painting was in the private collection of Hunt Henderson, a New Orleans sugar magnate and art collector, until one of the private collectors bought it during an art auction in New York in 2015.


6 The Water Lilies, 1904

Bid: Sotheby’s, 2007 auction price: $36,724,350

The Water Lilies series of paintings is what Monet is famous for. From 1840 to 1926 he painted about 250 oil paintings. Monet lived in Giverny in Normandy and owned a house with a Japanese garden, which he painted for the last 30 years of his life. This painting is so special because there is no horizon and perfect, soothing colors. The masterpiece of the water lilies should pave the way for the abstract art of the 20th century.

This brilliant work of art belonged to Monet’s son, was kept in a private collection and then sold in London in 2007. The new owner is an Asian private collector who, by the way, was on the phone when he bid on the painting. The Times writes that 40 telephone lines were installed during the auction that night.

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5 The Houses of Parliament. Sunset, 1900-1901

Bid: Christie’s, 2015 auction price: $40,485,000

Monet painted Waterloo Bridge in the morning and the Houses of Parliament in the evening. He painted sixty-five paintings and this one is unique because of the bright red color of the sky. Painting this artwork was a challenge due to the ever changing weather.

Today, fourteen works of art from this series are in museum collections and five in private collections. The last known owner of the painting is a British millionaire, magnate and owner of several top branded clothes, Philip Green. He bought the artwork for $14,000,000 in 2001 and sold it for twice that amount in 2015.


4 The railway bridge at Argenteuil, 1873

Bid: Christie’s, 2008 Auction Price: $41,480,000

Despite the painting’s calmness, it was perceived differently by the art world. Back then, landscapes represented a pristine natural space that was the opposite of the urban hustle and bustle. This painting combines nature with city life by having the bridge that takes the viewer’s entire focus. This was something new and even provocative in the art world. Now the painting belongs to an anonymous telephone bidder and is considered one of Monet’s most expensive paintings.

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3 Grain Pile (Haystack), 1891

Bid: Christie’s, 2016 auction price: $81,447,500

This masterpiece belongs to another iconic series of paintings. Grainstack comprises twenty-five canvases painted by Monet between 1890 and 1891. This set is special because he painted the same subject but in different settings: times of day, in many types of weather, and across multiple seasons. Interestingly, the haystack was next to Monet’s garden in Giverny, so he went there every day for half a year and painted. This painting belongs to an anonymous bidder, but other works are in various museums, such as the Getty Center in LA, the Hill-Stead Museum in Connecticut, the Scottish National Gallery, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, etc.


2 Nymphéas en fleur (Flowering Water Lilies), 1914-1917

Bid: Christie’s, 2018 auction price: $84,600,000

This painting is the most expensive among the legendary water lily paintings. It has a beautiful color scheme that gives vibrancy and power to the painting. In 1956, the Rockefeller couple Peggy and David bought it from a dealer in Paris. The last purchase was in New York in 2018 and the bidder for the painting is unknown.




1 Meules (haystacks), 1890-1891

Bid: Sotheby’s, 2019 auction price: $110,747,000 million

One of the eight surviving tracks from the entire Haystacks series has surpassed $100 million. It is a record for Monet’s artworks and also for all Impressionist works. Its vibrant color palette and dynamic composition make the landscape appear harmonious and prosperous. Within eight minutes, six bidders competed for this masterpiece and finally bought it for the highest price ever.

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