World Record price set for Modigliani in $227m sale at Sotheby's

Last night, Sotheby's Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art saw many exciting works go under the hammer with 61 works achieving a total of $227,561,000.

Some of the works on offer included paintings by Picasso, Degas, Pissarro and Giacometti. But none of these were the headline lot on the night. Three artists and their works dominated proceedings.

Henri Matisse's Danseuse dans le fauteuil, sol en damier, depicts a woman seated and cross-legged in a chair, staring outwards, with a chess-board like background. Hailing from a private collection, the striking work marks the start of a new style for the artist's work in late 1942.

Claude Monet Waterlilies painting
Claude Monet's Waterlilies painting
(Click to enlarge)

The most notable of five of the artist's works in the sale, it cruised past its $12m-18m estimate to sell for $20.8m.

A classic example of Claude Monet's Waterlily paintings went under the hammer for the benefit of youngarts, the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. One of three Monet works in the sale, it sold right in the middle of its estimate range at 24,722,500.

The piece which caused a real stir in the art world, however, was a Modigliani nude. One of two pieces by the short-lived artist (the other, a portrait of his lover Jeanne Hébuterne in a hat sold for $19.1m) smashed the previous world record.

Modigliani La Belle Romaine painting
Modigliani's La Belle Romaine painting

It was part of a series of nudes created around 1917, and sold for $68,962,500. No estimate had been given, but the previous record had been €43.2m ($60.3m), set earlier this year in Paris. An exciting time then, for those who are investing in Modigliani and other contemporary artists.


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