An auction is being planned for this spring featuring the estate of late copper heiress Huguette Clark. Among the extremely valuable lots set to hit the block are paintings by Monet and Renoir that are expected to fetch bids well into the $1 million range.
The Huguette Clark collection
Huguette Clark is the daughter of U.S. Senator William A. Clark, for whom Clark County in Nevada is named. He was able to build up his fortunes in the late 19th century through intrepid business practices in the American West, where he became a staple in the mining industry. His daughter, Huguette, rose to notoriety in her later years for being reclusive and mysterious. At 98 years old she filed two consecutive wills, one bequeathing her riches to her distant relatives, the other cutting them out completely. She died in 2011 at 104 years old after spending the last 20 years of her life in a hospital, despite her numerous luxurious residences.
The estate of Huguette Clark is one of the most valuable to go to auction in recent history. Receipts from the auction this spring, which will include Monet's "Water Lillies" and a Renoir painting titled "Young Women Playing Badminton", are expected to total more than $50 million. A past auction in 2012, comprised of only 17 pieces of the late socialite's jewelry, brought in $21 million. Highlights from the auction will be flown all over the world for viewings in London, Hong Kong and New York.
Monet's "Water Lillies" is not believed to have been shown publicly since 1926. The painting included in this auction is representative of a much larger oeuvre containing about 250 pieces all depicting the aquatic landscape at the artist's home in Giverny, France. Highly regarded as a magnificent example of French Impressionism of the early 20th century, the Water Lillies series is represented in museums around the world. The Water Lillies painting at this auction is expected to sell for at least $25 million.
The other painting available at this auction is by Pierre-Auguste Renoir and is titled "Young Women Playing Badminton." Renoir, another French impressionist master, adapts the light, colorful, almost abstract landscape style of the time and places five figures of young women lounging in the middle of it. This painting is expected to pull in up to $15 million.
Collectors interested in fine art can find an extensive listing of auctions happening around the world, as well as place bids on their favorite lots, at iCollector.com.