Monet and NFTs: It's The Original That Counts

As a trailblazer and leader in Impressionist painting, Claude Monet questioned established conventions in the art world. Many of his paintings are practically priceless because they are not only so innovative but also universally adored. When someone looks at a Monet, they do not only seethe brushes on the canvas – they see the history of art itself and the revolution of the human creative spirit.


Monet was the most prolific and steady practitioner of the Impressionist philosophy because he was obsessed with conveying one's perceptions in front of nature, particularly as applied to plein air painting. His paintings exemplify all the Impressionist ideals and methods. Not only did his work give the movement its name, but it also defined it.

Gardenat Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet 1867

The past few years have witnessed some significant moments in the course of art history. Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur (Water Lilies in Bloom) was sold for $84.6 million on May 8th, 2018.

Nympheas en fleur by Monet (1914–17)

This was just the beginning, though, as Meules sold for more than twice its pre-estimated value of $55 million in May 2019. On May 14th, 2019, a bid of $97 Million shook the walls of the Sotheby's auction room. With expenses included, the work came to be worth $110.7 million, shattering Monet's previous record. Not only did Meules validate the French Impressionist's worth, but the offer for this artwork made it the first Impressionist work to exceed $100 Million!

Claude Monet, Meules,1890, private collection. Sotheby’s.

While it is undeniably true that Monet's paintings were pivotal in the establishment of the Impressionist movement in the nineteenth century, it is also true that his work continues to fascinate audiences throughout the globe today. His ubiquitous influence can be seen in the replicas of his work whether they be postcards, mugs, t-shirts puzzles, figurines, bags, jewelry, placemats, coasters, bedspreads, pillowcases and iPhone covers. You can even buy Covid masks adorned with his waterlilies.  

Monet bedspreads, pillowcases, Covid masks and iPhones are a testament to his legacy. (images courtesy of

The strange thing is, with all the copies of his work, you might think that it would diminish the value of the originals. You might think the owner of Nympheas en fleur would be kicking up a fuss when he sees his insanely expensive artwork badly reproduced on a pair of boxer shorts. Doesn’t this cheapen the brand by watering down its scarcity?


The opposite is, of course, true because every copy that’s manufactured and sold spreads his influence ever farther and highlights just how much it resonates with our culture. His work is not confined to the impersonal and lifeless halls of museums and galleries but instead lives and breathes in our everyday lives.


Now consider the NFT space (Yes, you knew we were getting there!). Applying the same principle, doesn’t this mean that when Internet users right click save a popular NFT to use as their Twitter avatar, it should also strengthen the brand and increase its value? I would reply with a resounding yes.

SpaceBud #9936: The most expensive NFT ever sold on Cardano.

And yet, because the owner of say, SpaceBud #9936, has spent 510,000ADA ($1,076,000 atthe time) acquiring it, he might feel incensed that someone has coped his NFT andis now outrageously cashing in on unwarranted digital flex.


This is, of course, a silly notionbecause anyone with the most basic understanding of how blockchains work wouldknow that you can easily verify ownership of said NFT. Instead of cashing in onany so-called digital flex, the right click saver would instead be deemed ridiculousfor trying to con crypto Twitter into thinking he could afford it.


But him using it would spread brandawareness of SpaceBudz ultimately bringing more people into the community andexalting the value of the collection. Just like with original Monets and thecopies of them, you don’t need to worry about halfwits copying your NFT becauseit’s the original that counts.