Five Monet paintings sell for $84 million in London

Employees of Sotherby's auction house position "Le Grand Canal", by Claude Monet on January 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/Justin Tallis)

London (AFP) - Five paintings by French impressionist Claude Monet, including his famous 1908 "Le Grand Canal" view of Venice, sold for a total of $84 million (73 million euros) in a London auction on Tuesday.

"Le Grand Canal", a hazy blue-and-green view of the banks of the Italian city painted at the peak of Monet's career, sold for $35.6 million (31.4 million euros).

It was part of a Sotheby's auction of impressionist and modern art works including paintings by masters Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Henri Matisse, and sculptures by Auguste Rodin.

Sotheby's said the artworks in the sale raised $283 million overall, a record total for an auction in London.

"Tonight's London Imp., Modern & Surrealist sales achieved £186.5m - the highest total for any auction ever held in London, in any category," the auction house wrote on its Twitter account.

Other works sold included Monet's "Les Peupliers a Giverny", a view of tall trees at sunset which previously hung in New York's Museum of Modern Art and sold for $16.2 million.

A brightly-coloured Matisse portrait of Princess Nezy-Hamide Chawkat, the great granddaughter of the last Sultan of Turkey, sold for $23.8 million.

An owl sculpture named "Chouette" hand-painted by Pablo Picasso and inspired by his own pet owl, sold for $1.9 million.

The $11.7 million paid for a drawing by Georges Seurat -- a study for his monumental "Une baignade, Asnieres" oil painting -- was a record for a work by the artist on paper, Sotheby's said.