Van Gogh
A woman views an example of Claude Monet's Water Lilies, estimated between $35-40 million, ahead of a preview event to Sotheby's upcoming evening's of impressionist, modern and contemporary art in the Manhattan borough of New York City May 1, 2015.REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Six oil paintings by French impressionist Claude Monet previously held in private collections were put up to auction in Sotheby's on 5 May. The pieces, which hold a combined value of $78m (£53.5m), were joined by several paintings by Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Vincent van Gogh.

According to Sotheby's, the Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale netted more than $368m in sales. Five of the six Monet paintings were sold, with Nymphéas selling for $54m. The piece, part of Monet's Water Lilies series had not been seen in public since 1945 and was estimated to cost between $30m-45m.

The biggest seller of the night was van Gogh's L'Allée Des Alyscamps, which sold for $66.3m. The Dutch artist's Femme Dans Un Champ De Blé sold for an impressive $6.4m.

Several of Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso's pieces were up for auction on Tuesday. Like Monet, five of the six Picasso pieces were sold, including his sculpture Le Hibou Noir. Picasso's 1948 oil painting Femme Au Chignon Dans Un Fauteuil netted the highest price of his works at $29.9m. It was estimated at $12m-18m, according to a Sotheby's spokeswoman.

Another highlight of the night was Henri Matisse's Anemones Et Granades, which was estimated at $5m-7m. The piece sold over $6m, while his oil painting Nu Accoudé did not sell.

Sotheby's will hold another auction of Impressionist and Modern Art on 6 May, which will also include pieces by Salvador Dalí and Edgar Degas.