Claude Monet's Le Grand Canal fetches more than $35M at Sotheby's auction

A Venetian waterscape by Claude Monet has sold for more than $35M US as the high-end art market shows resilience in a bumpy global economy.

Tuesday's auction raised $280 million US, the highest-ever total for a single sale in London

Sotheby's employees pose with Le Grand Canal, painted by Claude Monet, at Sotheby's preview in London. The art fetched 23.67 million pounds ($35.6 million US) Tuesday at auction though it didn't reach the top of its pre-sale estimate of 20 million pounds to 30 million pounds. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

A Venetian waterscape by Claude Monet has sold for more than $35 million as the high-end art market shows resilience in a bumpy global economy. (All dollar figures are in US currency.) 

Le Grand Canal, fetched 23.67 million pounds ($35.6 million) at Sotheby's, though it didn't reach the top of its pre-sale estimate of 20 million pounds to 30 million pounds.

Monet's Poplars at Giverny, sold by New York's Museum of Modern Art, fetched 10.79 million pounds ($16.2 million).

A woman poses in front of Les Peupliers a Giverny (Poplars at Giverny), painted by Claude Monet, at Sotheby's preview in London. The art piece, sold by New York's Museum of Modern Art, fetched $16.2 million US on Tuesday. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

Tuesday's Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist sale raised 186.44 million pounds ($280 million), the highest-ever total for a single sale in London.

Sotheby's said bidders came from 35 countries. Wealthy collectors from Russia, China and the Middle East have helped buoy prices amid the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

Helena Newman of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern department said the sale saw "collectors from Asia and Russia asserting themselves as a continued force in the market."

She said it was "a great night for Monet," with five works by the French artist netting a total of 55.7 million pounds ($83.8 million).

Standouts at the sale included Henri Matisse's Odalisque in a Black Armchair, which sold well over its upper estimate at 15.8 million pounds ($23.8 million), and Pablo Picasso's maquette for a steel sculpture that stands outside Chicago's Richard J. Daley Center, which raised 8.9 million pounds ($13.4 million).

Sotheby's employees pose with Odalisque Au Fauteuil Noir (Odalisque in a Black Armchair) painted by Henri Matisse, at Sotheby's preview in London. The art piece sold well over its upper estimate on Feb. 3 fetching $23.8 million US. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's In Bed: the Kiss sold for 10.8 million pounds ($16.2 million), the second-highest price ever for the artist.

All the sale prices include a tax known as the buyer's premium.

Sotheby's rival, Christie's, holds its own banner sale Wednesday in London.