Modigliani sets auction house record at $157.2 million

Modigliani sets auction house record at $157.2 million

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The much-hyped sale of Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu Couche” painting barely made its pre-sale estimate of $150 million, the first day of Spring auctions in New York. The 1917 work that shows the entire figure of a woman lying on white sheets, looking casually behind her back, sold for a hammer price of $139 million, or $157.2 million including fees. While it was the highest auction price in Sotheby’s history, the work failed to generate excitement from bidders, with a high starting bid of $125 million. The final price came short of another Modigliani nude sold at Christie’s in 2015 for $170.4 million to Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian. But the two sales makes the artist “quite extraordinary” within the art market, being the only artist to have sold two works for over $150 million at auction.

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