Claude Monet's Nympheas (1907) sells for $27m in New York sale

Claude Monet's Nympheas (1907) was the star lot of Christie's hotly anticipated Impressionist and Modern Art Evening sale in New York on May 6.

The painting, part of the unparalleled Clark family collection, sold within estimate for $27m.

Claude Monet Water Lilies
Claude Monet began work on his Nympheas series in 1899

Monet began work on the lily pond in his garden in Giverny early in 1893, finishing construction by the end of the year. It wasn't until 1899 that he would begin painting his Nympheas (Water Lilies) series.

His auction record stands at £40.9m ($80.5m), set for Le Bassin Aux Nympheas - one of his most celebrated pieces.

We have this superb signed letter from Monet.

Picasso's Potrait De Femme (Dora Maar) sold for $22.5m.

The work dates to 1942 and depicts the artist's mistress Dora Maar. It's typical of the work he produced during the second world war - with Maar's twisted, anguished face reflecting the volatility of the times.

Check out this signed postcard from Pablo Picasso.

The auction achieved total sales of $285.9m, 80% higher than in the corresponding auction last year.

Brooke Lampley, head of impressionist and modern art at Christie's New York, commented: "Our strong performance tonight, the highest since May of 2010, is a testament to the continued strength of the global market for Impressionist and Modern works of art."

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