An Ethereal Painting of the Doge’s Palace by Claude Monet Could Sell for $35 Million at Sotheby’s

This could become the most expensive Venice painting by the famed Impressionist.

Claude Monet, Le Palais Ducal (1908). The painting could sell for £20,000,000-30 million ($25 million–35 million). Photo courtesy of Sotheby's London.
Claude Monet, Le Palais Ducal (1908). The painting could sell for £20,000,000-30 million ($25 million–35 million). Photo courtesy of Sotheby's London.

This winter, Sotheby’s London will offer a rarely seen canvas by Claude Monet that could fetch as much as £30 million ($35 million) at its Impressionist and Modern art sale on February 26, 2019.

Titled Le Palais Ducal, the 1908 canvas was created during a three-month stay in Venice, the artist’s only visit to the Italian canal city. Monet arrived in Venice on October 1 of that year, and immediately declared his surroundings “too beautiful to paint.” Fortunately, that didn’t stop the great Impressionist, who completed nearly 40 works during the trip.

Three of those canvases were painted from the waters from the canal itself, the artist working from a moored boat just across from the Doge’s palace. One of the other two canvases, titled The Doge’s Palace (Le Palais Ducal), belongs to the Brooklyn Museum.

This one, Le Palais Ducal, is being sold by the family of art collector Erich Goeritz, a Berlin-based textile manufacturer, who bought in 1925. It has been handed down from generation to generation ever since.

Claude Monet, <em>Le Palais Ducal</em> (1908). The painting could sell for £20,000,000-30 million ($25 million–35 million). Photo courtesy of Sotheby's London.

Claude Monet, Le Palais Ducal (1908). The painting could sell for £20,000,000-30 million ($25 million–35 million). Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s London.

The painting, which carries a pre-sale estimate of £20 million–30 million ($25 million–35 million), is already guaranteed to sell with an irrevocable bid. And it could easily set the record for a Venetian Monet: that benchmark was set at Sotheby’s London in February 2015 with the £23.67 million ($35.8 million) sale of Le Grand Canal (1908). The artist’s top price at auction reached $84.69 million back in May, with the sale of Nymphéas en Fleur at Christie’s New York.

“This spellbinding painting is… among the very greatest Monet painted during his first and only encounter with Venice,” said Helena Newman, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art department and chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, in a statement.

Claude Monet, Le Grand Canal, (1908) Courtesy Sotheby's

Claude Monet, Le Grand Canal (1908). The painting sold for £23.67 million ($35.8 million) at Sotheby’s London in 2015. Courtesy Sotheby’s London.

The public had the rare opportunity to see the work last year, which it was shown for the first time in almost 40 years at the National Gallery in London in “Monet and Architecture.” An entire gallery was given over to the artist’s Venice series, where the Goeritz family’s Le Palais Ducal was hung alongside its counterpart from Brooklyn.

Now, added Newman, the painting’s sale “presents a rare opportunity for collectors from all over the world to acquire a painting of this quality that is completely fresh to the market.”


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