Monet’s £20m ‘Le Palais Ducal’ To be Auctioned for the First Time

In the upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s London, a rare painting by Claude Monet will go under the hammer for the first time. Titled Le Palais Ducal, the painting depicts the historic Gothic façade of the Doge’s palace. It is expected to fetch between £20m and £30m.

Claude Monet

Claude Monet and his second wife Alice Hoschedé Monet in St. Mark’s Square, Venice

On 1 October 1908, Claude Monet arrived in Venice, a city that the Impressionist master declared ‘too beautiful to paint’. Enchanted by the city, Monet painted just under forty canvases during his three-month stay, the greater part of which adorn the walls of museums across the globe.

Of those nearly forty canvases he created, three were painted from the vantage of a boat moored along the canal, including the present one up for auction. It has been kept in the same family collection since 1925 when it was acquired by Erich Goeritz, a Berlin-based textile manufacturer. Goeritz was a significant collector of Impressionist and Modern art, building an extensive collection that was both eclectic and forward-thinking. It is the first time this painting appears at auction after almost a century later.

Le Palais Ducal

Doge’s Palace

The composition is harmoniously divided between the palace’s brick exterior and its reflection in the water. Monet animated the lagoon with wonderfully dappled brushstrokes whilst also bringing to life the façade of the building, which is softly diffused by light. The unique lacustrine quality of Venice and its architectural heritage allowed Monet to explore more abstract compositions, accentuating the interplay between the rhythms of the architecture and the expanse of water.

Le Palais Ducal (1908). Collection of Brooklyn Museum

Two of Monet’s paintings Le Palais Ducal (left) were exhibited together

The painting was exhibited last year alongside another Monet’s Le Palais Ducal from the collection of Brooklyn Museum in New York. It made its first appearance in almost four decades in a room dedicated to the Venice series in the National Gallery in London’s acclaimed Monet and Architecture show, which toured through Monet’s ground-breaking depictions of the modern world in which he lived.

Le Grand Canal

The painting is guaranteed to sell with an irrevocable bid. It could set the record for the most expensive Venice painting by Monet if it is sold for a price surpassing £23.67m (US$35.8m), a record currently held by the artist’s Le Grand Canal.

Nymphéas en feur

The artist’s most expensive painting sold at auction is Nymphéas en Fleur, which was sold for US$84.69m at Christie’s New York in May last year.

Claude Monet (1840 - 1926). Le Palais Ducal.

Created in: 1908
Estimate: £20,000,000 - 30,000,000

Auction details
Auction house: Sotheby’s London
Sale: Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
Sale date: 26 February 2019 |7pm

21-22 January 2019|11am-5pm
New York:
5-9 February 2019|10am-5pm
10 February 2019|1pm-5pm