Helmut Newton nude tops photograph auction at $138,426


Sotheby's Paris auction of photographs was highlighted by Helmut Newton's Big Nude IX, the Two Violettas yesterday (May 15).

Big Nude IX by Helmut Newton
Big Nude IX by Helmut Newton

The characteristic piece from Newton sold for €108,750, comfortably securing its estimate of €90,000-120,000. It featured as top lot in the auction, selling €42,000 above its nearest contender.

Helmut Newton was a prolific fashion photographer, renowned for his powerful black and white images which have become synonymous with Vogue magazine. The Big Nudes series represents the pinnacle of his trademark style, displaying domineering female nudes standing at over two metres tall.   

Following his death in 2004, Newton is still revered as the creator of fashion's most iconic images. This is reflected at auction, where his work continues to bring superb results. In 2008, Christie's set a new world record for his photographs, when a four-panel print entitled Naked and Dressed sold for $662,500.

More images from Newton's Big Nudes series will feature in Christie's photographs sale in London today, potentially offering great value with estimates around £10,000-15,000.

Bringing the second highest bids in the sale was Vik Muniz's diptych entitled Raft of Medusa. The work was taken from the Pictures of Chocolate series that brought Muniz into the limelight in 1997. The piece sold for €66,750 against an estimate of €60,000-80,000.

A notable increase of 183.5% was seen by Man Ray's profile portrait of Pablo Picasso. The image featured as part of a series of portraits created by Man Ray of his artist friends. Selling at €28,350, the piece shot past its high estimate of €10,000, displaying the ever-popular Pablo Picasso's worth at auction.

Investors will want to view PFC Auctions' online sale, where a signed lithograph from Picasso is currently selling at £3,000. The auction also features a superb range of signed photographs, including a stunning black and white image of model Helena Christensen.


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