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MONET PAINTING DRAWS $20.1 MILLION AT AUCTION

A painting from Claude Monet's iconic series on London's House of Parliament has sold at auction for $20.1 million.

"London, the Parliament, Effects of Sun in the Fog," painted in 1904, was purchased by Samir Traboulsi, a Lebanese financier, at Christie's on Wednesday night. The Impressionist work, which depicts orange and red light piercing London's fog, had been in the same family, that of Monet's dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, for 100 years. Its presale estimate had been $12 to $18 million.

The sale of Impressionist and modern art brought a total of $128.2 million in the first of a two-day auction at Christie's.

Beginning Thursday evening, Sotheby's also was offering Impressionist and modern works.

Expected highlights of that two-day sale included a painting from Gauguin's second Tahitian period, "Maternite (II.)" The painting, the property of an unidentified private collector, depicts a woman breast-feeding a newborn as two attendants hover nearby. Sotheby's said it "represents a peak in the artist's career" and was estimated to sell for $40 million to $50 million.

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