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Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), Le Grand Canal, signed Claude Monet and dated 1908 (lower right), oil on canvas, 73 by 92cm. 28 3/4 by 36 1/4 in. Painted in 1908. Est. £20 – 30 millionLot Sold 23,669,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby’s.

LONDON.- Five paintings by French impressionist Claude Monet, including his famous 1908 « Le Grand Canal » view of Venice, sold for a total of $84 million (73 million euros) in a London auction on Tuesday.

« Le Grand Canal », a hazy blue-and-green view of the banks of the Italian city painted at the peak of Monet’s career, sold for $35.6 million (31.4 million euros).

It was part of a Sotheby’s auction of impressionist and modern art works including paintings by masters Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri Matisse, and sculptures by Auguste Rodin.

Sotheby’s said the artworks in the sale raised $283 million overall, a record total for an auction in London.

« Tonight’s London Imp., Modern & Surrealist sales achieved £186.5m – the highest total for any auction ever held in London, in any category, » the auction house wrote on its Twitter account.

Other works sold included Monet’s « Les Peupliers a Giverny », a view of tall trees at sunset which previously hung in New York’s Museum of Modern Art and sold for $16.2 million.

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Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), Les Peupliers à Giverny, signed Claude Monet (lower left), oil on canvas, 74 by 92.7cm. 29 1/8 by 36 1/2 in. Painted in 1887. Est. £9 – 12 million. Lot Sold 10,789,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby’s.

A brightly-coloured Matisse portrait of Princess Nezy-Hamide Chawkat, the great granddaughter of the last Sultan of Turkey, sold for $23.8 million.

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Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954), Odalisque au fauteuil noir, signed Henri Matisse and dated 1/42 (lower left), oil on canvas, 38 by 46cm. 15 by 18 1/8 in. Painted in January 1942. Est. £9 – 12 million. Lot Sold 15,829,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby’s.

An owl sculpture named « Chouette » hand-painted by Pablo Picasso and inspired by his own pet owl, sold for $1.9 million.

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Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973), La chouette, signed Picasso; signedPicasso and dated 5.1.53. on the underside, hand-painted terracotta, height: 34.5cm. 13 1/2 in. Conceived on 25th December 1950, and cast in a small edition of hand-painted terracottas in 1953. An edition of six bronzes was also cast from the same model in 1950. Est. £350,000 – 450,000. Lot Sold 1,265,000 GBP. Photo Sotheby’s.

The $11.7 million paid for a drawing by Georges Seurat — a study for his monumental « Une baignade, Asnieres » oil painting — was a record for a work by the artist on paper, Sotheby’s said.

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Georges Seurat, « Etude pour une baignade, Asnieres« . Conté crayon on paper, 32.4 by 24.1cm., 12 3/4 by 9 1/2 in. Executed in 1883-84. 5,000,0007,000,000 GBP. Lot Sold 7,765,000  GBP. Photo Sotheby’s.

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