Asia’s Richest Man Adds to His Western Art Collection With $20 Million Monet

The Impressionist Claude Monet’s painting “Bassin aux nympheas, les rosiers” sold recently for a lofty $20.4 million. Wang Jianlin, Asia’s richest man, bought the artwork at Sotheby’s May 5 Impressionist and Modern Art sale. Bought by the collector’s Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese company has been buying Western artworks recently. In the past few years the Dalian Wanda Group has bought other notable works, such as Pablo Picasso’s “Claude et Paloma.”

Monet - Flowering Arches, Giverny, 1913

Monet – Flowering Arches, Giverny, 1913

With an auction total of $368.3 million, Asian collectors contributed to more than 30 percent of the sales. The auction was the second-highest sale for Sotheby’s, taking next-to-best after the 2014 New York $422.1 million sale. Private collectors from Asia bought three out of the auction’s top five lots. Each of the top sales was over $20 million.

“Bassin aux nympheas, les rosiers” wasn’t the only Monet to sell at the evening’s auction. The lots also included four other works by the artist; bringing in a total of $115.4 million. This includes a $54 million sale to an American collector. This makes the to-date total for Monet’s in 2015 $199.2 million, already topping last year’s sales total for the impressionist artist of $190.5 million.

The auction high for the night was a $66.3 million sale for Vincent Van Gogh’s “L’Allee des Alyscamps.” Selling to an Asian private collector, this work last sold in 2003 at auction for $11.8 million. The Sotheby’s sale marks a high for a Van Gogh landscape. Five bidders fought over the work. After a six-minute contest, the Van Gogh was finally bought by a bidder known as “Robert Wu.”

Van Gogh’s L'Allee des Alyscamps

Van Gogh’s ‘L’Allee des Alyscamps’ sells for $66m

Other highlights of the night included works from The Goldwyn Collection. This included Pablo Picasso’s “Femme au chignon dans un fauteull,” which sold to Chinese film mogul Wang Zhongjun for $29.9 million. This work had previously been in The Goldwyn Collection (originally bought by Samuel Goldwyn Sr.) since 1956.

About the Author

Erica Loop has a BA in the history of art and architecture as well as film studies. She has worked for the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Ms. Loop has taught studio-based art classes for children from toddlers to teens for the past decade along with writing freelance content across the web.