Nude painting sold for US$157.2m | Shanghai Daily

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May 16, 2018

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Nude painting sold for US$157.2m

A stunning nude that is the largest painting produced by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani sold for US$157.2 million in New York on Monday, becoming the fourth most expensive work of art sold at auction.

Painted a century ago, Modigliani’s masterpiece “Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)” fetched the highest price in Sotheby’s history and was the star single lot in the May art auction season in New York.

Modigliani follows Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso as the third highest-selling artist at auction. Monday’s sale failed to eclipse the US$170.4 million paid for another Modigliani nude at Christie’s in 2015.

Nearly 147 centimeters wide, the picture was the cover star of a recent retrospective at the Tate Modern gallery in London.

Modigliani reinvented the nude for the modern era, and when his series of paintings were first exhibited in 1917, they were considered so shocking that police closed the show in Paris.

Bidding was restrained, lasting three to four minutes and opening at US$125 million before auctioneer Helena Newman brought the hammer down at US$139 million. The final price includes a buyer’s premium.

The price chalks up a healthy profit for its seller, who bought the picture in 2003 for US$26.9 million.




 

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