The Monet on Amazon might have a buyer -- offline

The much-publicized $1.45-million Monet listed on Amazon could soon sell, although not through the e-tailer.

Claude Monet’s portrait of his infant son was among the artworks listed last Tuesday when Amazon launched a new section of its site dedicated to fine art.

Within a day, the portrait had garnered a lot of attention from Amazon users, who playfully commented on the million-dollar Monet like it was one of site’s common household wares.

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“For as much as I paid I’m a little upset that this isn’t a new painting. You can see OBVIOUS cracks and I’m worried that the artwork has had several owners before me,” one commenter quipped.


Another added, “Does anyone know if there is a Kindle edition available?”

The chief executive of M.S. Rau Antiques, the New Orleans store selling the piece, removed the listing late last week as a courtesy after a potential buyer expressed “serious interest.”

“It had nothing to do with Amazon. They didn’t know it was on Amazon,” Bill Rau said.

The antiques store has about 18 items listed on the e-tailer’s site, which so far has yielded to a “two serious phone calls” and “an incredible amount of stupid comments,” Rau said, including several tied to its $4.85-million Norman Rockwell painting.


Even without a sale, Rau said putting the high-priced pieces in front of many of Amazon’s 100 million users has value.

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“We’re only paying if it sells,” he said, adding that Amazon then collects a less-than-1% commission.

“When you look at the top digital companies, Amazon is among them,” he said, adding that while time will tell if Amazon is successful in fine art, online sales are a part of any industry, “so why would art be any different than it would be for shoes or computers or anything else?”



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