New: The letter that saved a lost masterpiece

In a dark damp cellar in the suburbs of Paris...

Surrounded by scurrying rats and rusted old tools...

There sits a lost masterpiece.

A monumental painting of exquisite beauty.

Hidden from daylight for more than a decade.

But this artwork has never been exhibited. It will never be finished.

And if the artist doesn't pay up soon, he'll never see it again.

The year is 1884. The artist is Claude Monet.

And this is the story of how he tried to save it.

The Father of Impressionism

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Claude Monet is the 'Father of Impressionism', and one of history's most important and popular artists.

Monet is one of history's most famous artists.

Today his paintings hang in the world's greatest museums, attracting millions of visitors each year. But early in his career he struggled for success.

Like many poor artists he used his paintings to pay his debts.

One of those paintings was Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), which Monet began in 1865, when he was just 25 years old.

Measuring over 4m by 6m, the ambitious life-sized scene has been described as the "most important painting of Monet's early period".

He believed it would establish his name in Paris, and he wrote "I can think of nothing but my painting and if I had to leave it, I think I would go mad".

But Monet was unable to finish the huge artwork, and in 1866 he told a friend he would "leave on one side for the moment all my current large projects which only use up my money and get me into difficulties. "

Ironically, Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe did just the opposite.

Remains of a masterpiece

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The two surviving sections of the painting now hang together in the renowned Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

When Monet found himself severely in debt to his landlord Alexandre Flament, he used the artwork to cover the back-rent.

Flament took the rolled-up canvas and stored it in his cellar. And Monet promised to one day return, repay his debt and take back the painting.

Monet spent years worrying about the artwork until 1884, when he had finally found success as an artist.

But by then it was sadly too late.

"I had to pay my rent, I gave it to the landlord as security and he rolled it up and put in the cellar," he later recalled. "When I finally had enough money to get it back, as you can see, it had gone mouldy."

Monet was forced to cut up his beloved canvas, to save at least part of it.

Today just two fragments of the original painting survive. They can be found in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, displayed as a glimpse of what might have been.

It's one of the most famous unfinished paintings in all of art history.

A rare find for collectors

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This is a rare and significant letter, handwritten by Monet about one of his most famous artworks.

Much has been written about 'Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe' over the years.

But remarkably, here's something by the artist himself.

It's a rare and wonderful find.

The original letter Monet wrote to his landlord to recover the painting.

Handwritten and signed almost 140 years ago. Beautifully preserved.

And featuring an exceptional example of Claude Monet's autograph.

It arrived in stock this morning. You're the first to see it.

If you collect the autographs and letters of great artists, it's one of the finest items you could add to your collection.

An important letter

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The letter is offered in fine condition, with an exceptional example of Monet's signature.

The letter is dated January 10, 1884.

It's addressed from Monet's famous house in Giverny, where he lived for 43 years and painted his iconic 'Water Lillies' series.

He writes (in French):

"Mr Flament, I have meant to write to you for a long time about my belongings that are still with you and especially about my large painting that is probably very troublesome for you because of its size.

"Can you please be so kind as to give me news about the painting because I am now better paid here and I believe it would be possible for me to relieve you from keeping it.

"As I have to organise myself in the near future, I would be grateful if you could answer me as soon as possible and also inform me of what I still owe you."

The letter is written across two pages on adjoining sheets, each measuring 4.5 x 7.25 inches, and is presented in fine condition.

In terms of condition, content and the clarity of the signature...

You couldn't hope to find a better Claude Monet letter.

Own this letter today

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Own one of the most important names in art history, signed in 1840 by the man himself.This is a superb letter regarding one of Monet's most famous paintings.

The unfinished masterwork which could have changed his life.

A painting which now hangs in one of the world's greatest art museums.

The story behind it paints a fascinating picture of Monet's early career.

The content is highly significant to art history.

And Monet's signature is one of the best I've ever offered.

Put that all together and you've got yourself a masterpiece.

You can purchase it now for £12,500 ($15,530).

Purchase this letter now

To help you purchase this item in complete confidence, remember:

This Claude Monet signed letter is covered by my Lifetime Moneyback Guarantee of Authenticity.

It's supplied with a Paul Fraser Collectibles Certificate of Authenticity.

And delivery is free and fully insured.

To reserve it now, email me at

Or call me on +44 (0) 117 933 9500.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Until next time,

Paul Fraser.

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