CNN reports that a recent Sotheby's art auction broke the record for Impressionist paintings sold at auction. The piece in question is part of the famous Haystacks series by Claude Monet, a painting which is now the property of the anonymous winning bidder who paid $110.7 million in New York for the privilege of ownership.
Sotheby's says that's the most anyone has ever paid at auction for a painting, not just by Monet, but by anyone considered to be part of the Impressionist school. The hefty price was the end result of eight minutes of what the New York Times described as "heated competition" between the buyer and five unsuccessful bidders. The buyer, physically present during the bidding rather than being represented by an intermediary, has not only broken an expansive art world price record but also paid an amazing 44 times what the painting's previous owner paid for it back in 1986 – a relatively paltry $2.5 million.
The painting was created by Monet at his home in Giverny, France in 1890, with his Haystacks series extending into the following year. The series is well known among Monet devotees for its inspired depiction of various conditions in light and atmosphere, and this particular painting is said to be distinguished from the rest "by its vibrant paint palette, dramatic diagonal brushstrokes of varying directions that meet at the center and a unique perspective with only part of the first haystack appearing in the foreground," says AFP.
The beautiful work by Monet may now be the most expensive Impressionist painting ever, but it's not quite the record holder for paintings, in general, at the auction block. That record belongs to the famous (and controversial) Salvator Mundi, allegedly by Leonardo da Vinci, which was sold to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 for the price of $450 million.
You can take a look at the exciting auction action in the official video from Sotheby's below: