Restituted $18m Monet Snowscape at Christie's in May

Joining a crowded season for Monet, this snowscape is estimated at a new level for these works.

Claude Monet’s most prized works in the market these days are the ones that come from a series that depicts a landmark or view with different effects from the changing light and weather. Grainstacks, Venetian views, Britain’s House of Parliament, or poplar trees lining a road, an example of each of these series has already been announced for the May sales. 

Monet’s snowscapes, not quite a repeating series of the same view, but a common theme that Monet returned to a number of times especially in the Winters of 1875 and 1881 have grown in the esteem of collectors over recent years.

In 2017 and 2018, two significant sales took place for snowscapes. In May 2017, La route de Vétheuil, effet de neige from 1879 sold for $11.4 million at Christie’s. That was a stronger price than for any previous snowscape but within expectations. The next year, Christie’s sold Effet de neige à Giverny from 1893 for triple its estimate at $15.5 million. 

Now Christie’s has worked with restitution experts to bring La Mare, effet de neige from 1979 to the auction block. The work has been owned by the same family for 70 years but it had been sold in 1933 by Richard Semmel as the Jewish textile manufacturer was fleeing Germany. Research uncovered by Christie’s led to an amicable settlement between Semmel’s heirs and the current owners which precipitates a sale. 

Christie’s has estimated the work at $18 million. It will be sold on March 12th.

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