Monet’s view of London parliament for auction

The great French Impressionist admired the city’s ‘extraordinary’ light effects

Detail from Monet’s view of London’s parliament buildings

Detail from Monet’s view of London’s parliament buildings

 

The eyes of the world will be on London this week where, on Thursday night, the results of the British general election will emerge within hours of polls closing at 10pm. Newly elected MPs will assemble on May 18th in the House of Commons in the Palace of Westminster.

The building, one of the most photographed in the world, was built in the 19th century to a design by architect Charles Barry after the original structure was destroyed by fire on October 16th, 1834.

Over the last 150 years countless artists have painted the palace – none more celebrated than French Impressionist painter Monet whose 1902 painting Le Parlement, soleil couchant will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on May 11th. The estimate is $35-$45 million.

Monet painted the British Parliament buildings 19 times: this painting is one of only four from the series that remains in private hands while 15 hang in major museum collections around the world.

Christie’s said Monet’s decision to paint in London was inspired “by the extraordinary light effects that the city offered during the winter months, when the sun was diffused through a dense atmosphere of mist mingled with coal smoke from the city’s furnaces”.

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