Monet haystack painting fetches record $168m

The 1890 painting is one of only four works from the French painter's acclaimed "Haystacks"...
The 1890 painting is one of only four works from the French painter's acclaimed "Haystacks" series to come to auction this century. Photo: AP
One of Claude Monet's iconic paintings of haystacks has fetched a record price at an auction in New York.

Monet's Meules sold at Sotheby's sale of Impressionist & Modern Art for $US110.7 million ($NZ168.6 million).

The auction house says it's a world auction record for the artist and the first work of Impressionist art to cross the $US100 million threshold at auction.

The 1890 painting is one of only four works from the French painter's acclaimed "Haystacks" series to come to auction this century, and one of only eight examples remaining in private hands.

The 17 others reside at museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.

The previous owners had purchased the painting in 1986 for $US2.53 million.

Sotheby's did not provide any details on the new buyer.

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