Back
  • Press release
  • |
  • London
  • |
  • For immediate release
  • |
  • 30 May 2022

CHRISTIE’S TO OFFER MONET’S ATMOSPHERIC LONDON SERIES MASTERPIECE 
Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume 

20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale
28 June 2022

Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume (1904, estimate: in the region of £24 million)

 •  Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume was last seen at auction in 1939 and has been in the same family collection since it was acquired by Arde Bulova, Chairman of the Bulova Watch Company in 1951. Prestigious early provenance also includes Paul Durand-Ruel, Adolph Lewisohn and the D.P. Allen Memorial Art Museum, at Oberlin College in Ohio

 •  Of the 41 iconic paintings of Waterloo Bridge that Monet painted between 1899-1904, 26 are in public institutions, including The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; Bührle Foundation, Zürich; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Kunstmuseum Bern. Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume was most recently on long term loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel

 •  The sale of this London view follows the exceptional result achieved by Christie’s for Monet's Le Parlement, soleil couchant, from the Collection of Anne H. Bass, which sold for $75.9 million in New York on 12 May, a record for a painting from Monet's London series

 •  Capturing the play of early morning sunlight from the East in a burst of yellow brushstrokes as the sun breaks through a misty haze, Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume is filled with a radiant glow and iridescence rarely found in the Waterloo Bridge series

 •  This majestic painting by the leading French impressionist artist captures London's enduring influence and position as a global cultural centre, and shows the dialogue between London and Paris in the art historical canon – celebrated in the Christie’s London to Paris sale format

LONDON AND PARIS – Claude Monet’s Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume will be a highlight of Christie’s 20/21 London to Paris sale series, offered in the 20th / 21st Century: London Evening Sale on 28 June. Depicting the Thames under an effervescent sunlit haze, Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume (1904, estimate: in the region of £24 million) comes from Monet’s monumental, landmark series entitled Vues du Londres (Views of London), which celebrates London’s unique character, architecture and ever-changing atmosphere. The artist focused on the play of light across the Thames through three principal subjects – Charing Cross Bridge, the Houses of Parliament, and Waterloo Bridge. In contrast to the bustling modernity of the Charing Cross paintings and the solemn grandeur of the Houses of Parliament compositions, Monet’s views of Waterloo Bridge stand as pure meditations on colour, light, and atmosphere, evocatively capturing the shifting character of the famous bridge under varying weather conditions at different times of the day.

The sale of Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume follows the exceptional price achieved for Le Parlement, soleil couchant, from The Collection of Anne H. Bass, which sold for $75.9 million on 12 May 2022, setting a record for a painting from Monet’s Vues du Londres. Of the 41 paintings of Waterloo Bridge which Monet painted, 26 are in public institutions, including The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; Bührle Foundation, Zürich; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and Kunstmuseum Bern. Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume comes to auction following a long-term loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel.

In Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume, Monet records an early morning view, choosing the moments in which the bright light of the rising sun breaks through the layers of haze and mist, sending rippling golden rays of sunshine into the sky, and across the surface of the water. The painting stands as a testament to Britain's significant impact on international artists, highlighting the cultural dialogue between London and Paris in the art historical canon. Depicting the bridge head-on, its rhythmic arches spanning the entire width of the canvas, Monet allows the structure to become the primary focus of the composition, giving it a solid sense of monumentality amidst the otherwise intangible elements of the scene.

Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President, Christie’s:London’s Waterloo Bridge is an inspirational subject which led to a celebrated series of paintings, the majority of which grace the walls of the great museums of the world. This example, which has been on long-term loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel, is distinctive for its fabulous morning light effect as the sun rises. It is a poetic masterpiece which will capture the imagination of the world’s collectors when it goes on view here in London on 22 June.”

Bonnie Brennan, President of Christie’s Americas: “It was such a distinct honour to sell the exquisite collection of Anne H. Bass in New York during our May 20/21 Season where we set the record for a painting from Monet’s influential ‘London Series’ with the sale of Le Parlement, soleil couchant. We are thrilled to follow this in London with the vibrant Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume, from the estate of the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul Bulova Guilden.’

Keith Gill, Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, London: London and Paris have always been at the centre of an exuberant cultural exchange and it was here that Monet discovered the unparalleled attraction of London’s unique, ever-changing environment. Inspired by how the atmosphere, light and architecture changed in an instant, he painted an illustrious series of canvases that capture the vivid light throughout the day on three of the capital’s landmarks. Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume is a radiant example from the series which was last seen on the market over 80 years ago. We are sure London’s significant influence on artists will continue to enthral.

The Waterloo Bridge views
Monet captured his views of Waterloo Bridge in a remarkably varied number of ways*, exploring the scene through a subtly shifting range of colours, from luminous blues to delicately-hued violets and soft greens, tracing the effects of the notoriously capricious weather conditions. For an artist whose life had been spent in the pursuit of capturing the transitory effects of weather on the landscape in painterly form, these unpredictable, often fast-moving meteorological effects by turn beguiled, thrilled, infuriated and disheartened him. Rendered in an array of deftly applied strokes and flecks of pigment, in Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume, Monet eloquently conjures the effect of the constantly changing atmosphere on the scene, heightening the feeling of the softly enveloping haze of the title through an intricate play of opacity and translucency.

An illustrious and impeccable provenance
Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume was purchased in 1905 by Paul Durand-Ruel, who had staged the highly successful inaugural exhibition of the series at his gallery in May 1904, and sold almost immediately to Mrs. A. Stern, with whom it remained until 1919. The painting subsequently passed through several important collections, including those of Adolph Lewisohn and the D.P. Allen Memorial Art Museum, at Oberlin College in Ohio, before being acquired by Arde Bulova, Chairman of the renowned Bulova Watch Company in 1951.

Originally founded by Joseph Bulova in New York in 1875, the Bulova Watch Company rapidly expanded during the early 20th century, quickly becoming America’s largest watch company.  This growth was fuelled by innovative designs and creative marketing that included America’s very first radio and TV commercials as well as collaborations with celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh and NASA. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Arde Bulova was a dedicated philanthropist who was at the forefront of championing equal access for people with disabilities.  He founded The Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking that provided tuition-free education to disabled WWII veterans as a means of rehabilitation, combined with master watchmaking skills and dedicated job placement.

Waterloo Bridge, effet de brume was passed down through the Bulova family to Arde’s nephew Paul Bulova Guilden, a New York entrepreneur, philanthropist, and dedicated supporter of the arts throughout his life, who held the role of Chairman at the legendary John B. Stetson Company for three decades.

The London series at Christie’s

Le Parlement, soleil couchant, The Collection of Anne H. Bass, Christie’s, New York, 12 May 2022, lot 10, estimate: $40-60 million, price realised $76 million. Auction record for the London series.

Waterloo Bridge, effet de brouillard, Anonymous sale, Christie’s, New York, 13 May 2021, lot 8B, estimate: in the region of $35 million, price realised $48.5 million. Second highest auction price for the London series.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.