Modigliani’s Nu couché set for $100 million Sotheby's sale
Christie's has announced the upcoming sale of Amedeo Modigliani’s masterpiece Nu couché (Reclining Nude).
The artwork, described as "the painting that defines Modigliani”, will be offered at auction for the first time in its history during a special sale in New York on November 9.
Painted in 1917-18, Nu couché was one of several Modigliani nudes that caused controversy during his only one-man show in Paris. As crowds gather around the Galerie Berthe Weill, shocked by a particular painting displayed in the window, local police demanded the exhibition be closed on the grounds of indecency.
Originally owned by Léopold Zborowski, Modigliani’s close friend and art dealer, the work was later part of the celebrated collection of the late Gianni Mattioli, and has featured in major museum shows at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York amongst others.
Regarded as "one of the most recognized images of early 20th century painting", Nu couché is expected to set a new world record for a Modigliani work and comes with an estimate of more than $100 million.
“This is quite simply one of the most important paintings I have handled in my long career at Christie’s," said Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s Global President and Chief Auctioneer. "There are a very small number of masterpieces that we dream of handling: this magnificent Modigliani has always been one of them.
"This powerful and noble female nude is a work of timeless beauty and one of the greatest works by the artist. It is a particular honour to be entrusted with the sale of this painting as my own area of expertise has always been the early 20th Century avant-garde, the paintings that shook the foundations of convention.”
The Artist’s Muse: A Curated Evening Sale of 20th Century Art takes place at Sotheby's in New York on Monday November 9.
The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.
Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.
Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.