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Monet's parliament painting is expected to reach £30 million at auction

Monet's parliament painting is expected to reach £30 million at auction

For one mystery collector

Christie's New York will be auctioning a rare Monet painting of London's Houses of Parliament – 'Le Parlement, soleil couchant' – and it is expected to reach as much as £30 million for the anonymous private collector who owns it...

A rare, privately owned, painting of London's Houses of Parliament, by the impressionist master, Monet, is to be sold at Christie's New York this month. Experts estimate that the painting could fetch upwards of £30 million. 

This lot, entitled 'Le Parlement, soleil couchant' represents one of 19 representations of the historic government buildings on the banks of The River Thames, 14 of which belong to museum collections. The owner of this particular painting wishes to remain anonymous, but inside sources suggest that Arcadia Group mogul Sit Philip Green is the most likely collector.

Monet masterpieces never come without a little background and this intriguing impressionist piece is no different. Monet travelled to London over the turn of the century in 1900 and returned again in 1901, hoping to build a varied perspective of different light reflections for his representation. He positioned himself south of the river by St. Thomas's Hospital where the view, and the light were both advantageous. 

Unfortunately London's famous grey skies and damp climate scuppered his attempts to complete the painting from London, and he was forced to return home and complete the piece from memory. He wrote to his wife Alice comically stating: "Fifteen days have passed without seeing the sun. I no longer have the spirit to fight, it's over! London weather!" Thankfully for this mystery collector, he did finish the painting, and we wait with anticipation to see if these heady estimates are reached on the day of the auction.