If I only had $80M

"Le Bassin aux Nymphéas" is part of a collection painted by Claude Monet dated 1919.

I know, it’s a paltry sum these days, $80 million dollars. But it’s what one of my most favorite paintings in the world sold for recently. When I was 19, I did a study abroad in Paris, France all about art and architecture. I was in heaven. Except for those pushy street artists in the Montmartre district who tried to accost me, it was near perfection. I visited museum after museum (coulda spent weeks in the Louvre), studied chapel after chapel, and came home absolutely smitten with the history/culture of the country.

The highlight of my art tour was seeing – hmmm, no, a better word would be experiencing – Monet’s Water Lilies. I sat in an oblong room with round ottomans scattered throughout staring at walls that were covered with panels of these incredible works of art. Some people aren’t big Impressionist fans. I get it, believe me. It looks a little splotchy when you’re up close. But if you even knew how pure genius it is to place swallows of color on a canvas so that when you step back it becomes this image you never saw coming…sigh…well, you’d understand just how amazing that is.

I have to say that I was appalled that one of Monet’s smaller versions of the Water Lilies sold today without me being notified. Hello? Could someone have picked up the phone to call me? Christie’s? Sotheby’s? I promise a 200 year payment plan could work – it would be an investment for my children’s children’s children’s children’s grandchildren. I’m pretty darn sure of it. I just would love to see it hanging on my wall right now.

But speaking of high prices for art, are they insane? Eighty million dollars for a painting. How can you justify an expense like that? And somebody just has a cool $80M hanging around to spend on one painting. Why can’t I meet that guy and date him? 🙂 I’m just saying…



  1. Rebecca · June 25, 2008

    I didn’t realize you studied abroad in Paris! That is my dream. Even recently, I’ve considered moving to France for 3-6 months to learn French and immerse myself in the culture. How lucky for you.

    By the way, I changed my blog. It is now http://www.ruby31.blogspot.com. And we should get together sometime so we can catch up in person! I’m serious.

  2. amanda · June 25, 2008

    Oh, Monet! He is my favorite impressionist. I agree that it’s such an amazing medium. Do you like Maray Cassat? I love her equally. I saw Water Lilies in Chicago years ago and it just silenced the room.

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