Modigliani painting becomes fourth most expensive work of art sold at auction ever after going for $157.2MILLION in New York
- A Modigliani piece was sold for $157.2million Monday at a Sotheby’s auction
- The piece became the fourth most expensive artwork to be sold at an auction
- The painting Nu couche (sur le cote gauche) was purchased for the highest price in Sotheby’s history in New York
- Bidding for the piece opened at $125million and lasted for four minutes
- The painting is also the largest masterpiece by the Amedeo Modigliani
A Modigliani painting has just become the fourth most expensive artwork to be sold at an auction, after it was purchased for a whopping $157.2million.
The stunning painting entitled Nu couche (sur le cote gauche) by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani was sold at a Sotheby’s auction in New York on Monday.
The painting is not only pricey, but it’s also the largest masterpiece by the famed artist.
Nu couche, which was painted a century ago, was also purchased for the highest price in Sotheby’s history and was the star single lot in the May auction.
Nu Couche(sur le cote gauche) by Amedeo Modigliani sold for $157.2 million in New York, becoming the fourth most expensive work of art sold at auction
Modigliani follows Leonardo da Vinci and Pablo Picasso as the third highest-selling artist at auction. Monday’s sale failed to eclipse the $170.4 million paid for another Modigliani nude at Christie’s in 2015.
The bidding for the piece was restrained lasting just three to four minutes after opening at $125 million.
Auctioneer Helena Newman brought the hammer down at $139 million. The final price includes a buyer’s premium.
The seller made a $26.9million profit off the piece after acquiring it in 2003.
The piece, which measures 58inches wide, was the cover star of a recent retrospective at the Tate Modern gallery in London.
The piece also made history as it was purchased for the highest price in Sotheby’s history, Monday’s auction pictured above
Simon Shaw, co-head of impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s, said the painting sold Monday, while rooted in tradition, reflected the changing status of women during World War I.
‘This is a nude of a very self-possessed, sexually confident woman who is not looking out from a distance. She’s absolutely meeting our gaze,’ he said prior to the sale.
The piece was part of Modigliani’s nude series which was first exhibited in 1917.
The series was so shocking at the time that police closed down the art exhibition in Paris.
Nonetheless the artist completed a total of 22 reclining nudes and 13 seated nudes between 1916 to 1919.
His art dealer Leopold Zborowski gave him a stipend of 15 francs a day and paid the models five francs to pose in a Paris apartment.
Most of the former are found in museums, such as The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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