Iconic Monet haystacks painting smashes records, sells for staggering $110.7 million

Credit: Courtesy Sotheby's via AP

Credit: Courtesy Sotheby's via AP

It took just eight minutes for one of Claude Monet's iconic paintings of a haystack at sunset to jump from a $45 million bid to $97 million at Sotheby's auction house in New York on Tuesday night, finally selling for a record $110.7 million.

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The 1890 painting, titled “Meules,” is one in a series of 25 in the Impressionist master’s acclaimed haystack series.

"The winning bid shatters the previous record for the highest sum ever paid for a work by Monet, signaling the enduring value and popularity of the French Impressionist master; the bid is also the record for any Impressionist work of art," Sotheby's said on its website.

It's the first time "Meules" has been auctioned off since 1986, when its previous owners bought it for $2.53 million. It sold for 44 times that amount at Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale.

The painting is one of only eight in the series still in private hands. The other 17 are owned by museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

The Wall Street Journal reported that a woman at the back of the auction room scored the winning bid on the painting, but she has not been identified.

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