Edouard Manet's Le Printemps to set new auction record at $35m

Christie's hopes to set a new world record for Edouard Manet this November 5, as his celebrated Le Printemps is consigned to the Impressionist and Modern Art sale in New York.

Edouard Manet Le Printemps
The success of the work at the Paris Salon - where Manet had previously been snubbed - redefined his legacy


The painting is valued at $25m-35m, with strong bids expected after spending over a century in a single collection. Collectors have had plenty of opportunity to view the work, with it on loan to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC for the past two decades.

"On the heels of the fantastic travelling exhibition Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity, of which works by Manet were a keystone, we are delighted to have been entrusted with the sale of Le Printemps," said Christie's head of impressionist art, Brooke Lampley.

"This painting is by the first artist of the modern era, encapsulating all major themes of the early modern period, from nature and femininity to society and fashion. One of his best known and most widely reproduced works, Le Printemps exemplifies the revolutionary style that Manet embraced."  

The record for Manet's work is held by a self-portrait that sold at Sotheby's in 2010 for $33.3m.

Le Printemps sees Parisian actress Jeanne Demarsy representing an allegory of spring. Painted in 1882, it was displayed at the Paris Salon in the same year, and it was this submission - one year before Manet's death - that would bring him his greatest success, cementing his name as one of the most influential impressionist artists.

The sale comes amid a flurry of impressionist and modern art auctions in New York in November, which will see some of the top bids of the year.

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