The Haystacks by Claude Monet is the most beautiful and effective artwork from the famous series of the same name. On 14 May 2019, it was sold at Sotheby’s for a huge amount of 110.7 million dollars. The winning bid broke the previous record set not only for the work of the artist himself, but for any artwork by the Impressionists at that time.
The history of the Haystacks includes famous magnates. The first owner of the painting was Bertha Honoré Palmer, who bought it in 1892. As the wife of a wealthy Chicago businessman, Potter Palmer, she was free to invest in great works of art. Mrs. Palmer first saw the landscape at a large-scale Monet exhibition in Paris in 1891 and fell in love with the painting. A year later, she bought the work from dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. In the same year, she was going to sell the masterpiece to a Paris museum, but she changed her mind by November. The Haystacks, along with eight other works from the series, went with her to the United States.
Throughout her life, Mrs. Palmer remained an enthusiastic admirer of Monet’s art. In addition to the Haystacks, she owned four Poplars, three Rouen Cathedrals and three landscapes from the Morning on the Seine series.
After Bertha Palmer’s death, the entire collection of 19th century works became part of the collection of her son and daughter-in-law, Honoré and Grace Palmer.