Published: November 10, 2015
NEW YORK CITY — Christie’s kicked off its combined cross-category sale week on November 9 with a bang when Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché,” executed in 1917-18, realized $170,405,000 to become the top lot in the firm’s $419.3 million The Artist’s Muse sale.
The sale drew clients from around the world. Bidders from 35 countries participated in the sale, which was 71 percent sold by lot and 87 percent by value. Five new artist records were achieved (Courbet, Balthus, Lichtenstein, Modigliani and Nara) and two new artist records for the medium (sculpture) by Gauguin and Kirchner.
Achieving the second highest price for any work at auction to date and the record for any work by the artist at auction, “Nu couche” sold to the Long Museum in China.
Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie’s global president, said, “In recent years we have created very meaningful relationships with collectors in China and we are delighted to confirm that the Long Museum has purchased our top lot of the evening, Modigliani’s ‘Nu couché’. It is a superb and well-deserved recognition for the artist to have realized a price $100 million higher than any other work previously offered at auction. Works of this quality appear only rarely on the market and Christie’s is proud to have sold many paintings of this caliber in recent seasons, including Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les femmes d’Alger (Version O)’ and Francis Bacon’s ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’, both of which made outstanding records for two of the other great artistic geniuses of the Twentieth Century.”
Additional top prices were achieved for Roy Lichtenstein’s “Nurse, “1964, fetching $95,365,000, a new world auction record for the artist; Paul Gauguin’s “Thérèse,” 1902-03, selling at $30,965,000, a new world auction record for a sculpture by the artist; and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, “Tänzerin mit gehobenem Bein,” 1913, bringing $8,005,000, a world auction record for a sculpture by the artist.
Watch for a complete review of the sale in an upcoming issue.
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