The Christie's auction house in New York will offer for sale one of Claude Monet's celebrated "haystack" paintings, valued at an estimated $45 million, which should reconfirm collectors' appetite for Impressionist art.
With wealthy Chinese collectors expressing keen interest in such works, the painting -- part of a series of haystack pictures painted by Monet during the winter of 1890-91 from his French home in Giverny -- will first be presented next week in Hong Kong. It will then be shown in London before returning to New York in early November.
This canvas, representing a simple cone-shaped haystack at dusk, is one of the rare works in this series to still be in private hands, Christie's said.
Most of the others are in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, or the Art Institute of Chicago. This painting, to be auctioned on November 16, was acquired in September 1891 by the Knoedler & Co. art gallery, which brought it to the United States.
In recent years, prices for works by Monet or other celebrated Impressionists have shot through the roof.
The record for a Monet was set in June 2008, when a work from his "Water Lilies" series -- "Le Bassin aux Nympheas" -- was sold by Christie's in London for 40.9 million pounds ($80.1 million).