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    Friday, November 18th, 2022
    AMEDEO MODIGLIANI (1884-1920) – Beatrice Hastings (devant une porte) Painted in 1915 Price Realised: $17,565,000

    In eight days of art sales in New York Christie’s has so far achieved $2 billion. The 20th Century evening sale and the 21st Century evening sale which ran consecutively at Christie’s in New York last night made $421,976,700. When combined with the results of the Paul Allen collection the total reached an unprecedented $2,044,226,200.

    The 20th Century sale made $307,945,300 and was 96% sold by lot and 88% by value. Mark Rothko’s Untitled and Amedeo Modigliani’s Beatrice Hastings  each sold for $17,565,000. Additional highlights included works by notable female artists. A massive canvas by Joan Mitchell made $14,130,000, and a rare self-portrait by Frida Kahlo made $8,634,000.

    Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Sugar Ray Robinson, was the top lot at the 21st century sale and made  $32,679,000. Results for female artists and artists of colour were strong. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Minjung Kim, Noah Davis and Rashid Johnson all set new records.

    UPDATE: The two weeks of sales concluded having achieved $2,170,537,204 over seven live auctions and one online.


    Friday, April 19th, 2019

    An example of Modigliani’s defining work as a sculptor comes up at Christie’s in New York in May. The limestone Tete, carved c1911-12, is among the finest examples of the approximately twenty-six carved stones that defined Modigliani’s sculptural output, and one of the last left in private hands. Estimated at $30-40 million it comes up at the New York evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art. It is from a European private collection.

    Amedeo Modigliani,Tête UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $34.3 MILLION


    Friday, December 21st, 2018

    Auctions at Sotheby’s worldwide totalled $5.3 billion in 2018.  This is a 12% increase over 2017. Online buyers spent more than $200 million this year and 25% of all lots sold in 2018 were sold online.  The top lot of the year at any auction house was Modigliani’s Nu Couche which sold for $157.2 million in New York in May.  This was the highest auction price in Sotheby’s history.

    Queen Marie Antoinette’s pearl sold for $36.2 million in Geneva in November.

    Amedeo Modigliani Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) Signed Modigliani (lower left)



    Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

    A view of the packed saleroom.

    Amadeo Modigliani’s Nu Couche (Sur le cote gauche) sold for $157.2 million at Sotheby’s in New York last night.  This is the highest price in Sotheby’s auction history and nearly six times the price paid for the same painting when it was sold by casino mogul Steve Wynn in 2003.  The seller this time round is believed to be the Irish horse trainer John Magnier of Coolmore Stud.  Modigliani now belongs to a rarefied league of only three artists to break the US$150 million barrier at auction, along with Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci.

    A quarter of all sold works at the Impressionist  and Modern Art evening sale were acquired by Asian private collectors.  Those works were led by Pablo Picasso’s dreamy 1932 portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter, Le Repos, which made $36.9 million. A portion of the proceeds from the work will go to charity through The Sue J. Gross Foundation. The painting last sold at auction in 2000 for $7.9 million.  The evening sale achieved $318.3 million.

    (See post on for April 24, 2018)


    Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

    Amedeo Modigliani Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) Signed Modigliani (lower left)

    Modigliani’s largest painting – Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) – is estimated to sell for more than $150 million at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 14.  This is the highest estimate ever placed on a work of art at auction.  Nu couché was acquired by the present owner at auction in 2003 for $26.9 million.  The seller is believed to be Irish bloodstock billionaire John Magnier  who owns Coolmore Stud, the world’s biggest breeder of thoroughbred racehorses. His wife Susan co-owns a promising three-year-old colt  named Amedeo Modigliani.  It was previously owned by casino mogul Steve Wynn.

    In 2015, another reclining nude from the series sold at auction for $170.4 million, at the time marking the second-highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction.

    Painted a century ago, Nu couché is the greatest work from the iconic series in which Modigliani reinvented the nude for the Modern era. Upon their debut exhibition in 1917, these striking and sensual images stopped traffic – quite literally – and prompted the police to close the show. Today, the series is recognized as one of the seminal achievements in Modern painting. The shock and awe that Modigliani’s nudes continue to elicit was evident most recently during Tate Modern’s celebrated retrospective of the artist’s work that included Nu couché.   The work is the largest painting of Modigliani’s entire oeuvre – measuring nearly 58 inches / 147 centimeters across – and the only one of his horizontal nudes to contain the entire figure within the canvas.

    Most of the 22 reclining nudes from the series are found in museums, with particular depth in the United States: the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York each hold three examples. Outside of the United States, institutions with reclining nudes include the Long Museum in Shanghai and The Courtauld Gallery in London.


    Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

    The most expensive lot at Sotheby's in 2016 was Picasso's Femme Assise

    The most expensive lot at Sotheby’s in 2016 was Picasso’s Femme Assise

    A heady list of art and diamonds make up Sotheby’s top ten lots in 2016.  Picasso, Modigliani, Munch, Twombly, Bacon, Daqian, Richter and Gentileschi in that order accounted for the top art works, a blue diamond and a pink diamond made up the balance.

    Picasso’s  Femme Assise, 1909 which sold for £43,269,000 ($63,631,391) in London in June topped the list.  Next came Amedeo Modigliani with Jeanne Hébuterne (Au Foulard), 1919 which sold for £38,509,000 ($56,631,335): Edvard Munch, Pikene på broen (Girls on the Bridge), 1902 which sold for $54,487,500: Cy Twombly, Untitled (New York City), 1968 sold for $36,650,000: Francis Bacon, Two Studies For A Self-Portrait, 1970 sold for $34,970,000: Zhang Daqian, Peach Blossom Spring, 1982 sold for HKD $270,680,000 (US$ 34,702,564) and Gerhard Richter, A.B., Still, 1986 sold for $33,987,500.
    Number eight on the list was the De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 which sold for HK$248,280,000 ($32,013,223). Ninth came the Unique Pink, a fancy vivid diamond ring which sold for CHF 30,826,000 (US$31,561,200) and Orazio Gentileschi, Danaë, 1621 which sold for $30,490,000 was tenth.


    Tuesday, June 21st, 2016



    Pablo Picasso’s Cubist masterpiece Femme assise sold for £43.3 million at Sotheby’s in London tonight.  This is a new record price for any Cubist work at auction and the highest price for any work sold in London in over five years.

    Femme assise of 1909 came to the market tonight having remained in a private collection since 1973 when it was acquired for £340,000. The sale also saw a record for a portrait by Amedeo Modigliani, as Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) of 1919 mde £38.5 million, the second-highest price for a painting sold in London in over five years. The evening sale of  Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s totalled £103,280,000.

    The price paid for Femme Assise was the highest price in London since the sale of Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man I at Sotheby’s London in 2010 for £65 million.

    (See posts on for June 5 and May 17, 2016 and World Sculpture Price Records)


    Sunday, June 5th, 2016

    Amedeo Modigliani - Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard)

    Amedeo Modigliani – Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard)  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £38.5 MILLION

    A masterpiece by Amedeo Modigliani – Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard) –  is among the  highlights at  Sotheby’s London Impressionist & Modern Art evening  sale in London on June 21. In a private collection since 1986 it is now estimated to make more than £28 million.  This elegant and lyrical work is among the most beautiful portraits Amedeo Modigliani painted of his lover Jeanne Hébuterne – revealing a tender moment between a pioneer in the world of modern art and his most loyal muse.

    Jeanne met Modigliani in 1917, when she was a young art student, and for the next three years she was his constant companion and source of inspiration. The two were devoted to each other – with Modigliani even pledging to marry her, despite her family’s protestations. In January 1920, Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis. Following the funeral, a twenty-two year old, and reputedly heavily pregnant, Jeanne was taken to her parents’ home. There, inconsolable, she committed suicide by leaping from an upstairs window.

    Helena Newman, Global Co-Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Department, said: “The pioneering Modern style with which Amedeo Modigliani sensuously depicted the female form is inextricably bound with his lover and muse Jeanne Hébuterne. This painting is one of the most alluring portraits that Modigliani painted of her and the finest to come to the market in a decade.”

    (See post on for May  17, 2016)


    Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

    An exceptional selection of 52 works will feature at Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening sale in New York on May 12. Led by outstanding paintings by Monet, Picasso, and Modigliani, many of which have not been on the market for decades, the sale will feature several estates and private collections including The H.O. Havemeyer Collection, The Collection of Kenneth and Susan Kaiserman, The Ducommun Family Collection, and A Distinguished American Collection offering Frida Kahlo’s dream like love scene of Dos Desnudos en el bosque.

    Brooke Lampley, Christie’s Head of Impressionist and Modern Art, New York,  remarked: “This season we tailored our sale to meet current collector demand for iconic examples from the most celebrated artists of the period. The two Monets, Modigliani portrait, Picasso mousquetaire and Braque still life are all of unmatched quality and come with distinguished provenance.”

    Claude Monet (1840-1926) Le bassin aux nymphéas ($25-35 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016

    Claude Monet (1840-1926)
    Le bassin aux nymphéas ($25-35 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016  UPDATE: SOLD FOR $27,045,000

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Homme assis ($12-18 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd, 2016

    Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
    Homme assis ($12-18 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd, 2016  UPDATE: SOLD FOR $8,005,000

    Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Jeune femme à la rose (Margherita) Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016. ($12-18 million)

    Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920)
    Jeune femme à la rose (Margherita) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016. ($12-18 million)  UPDATE: SOLD FOR $12,765,000

    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2016.

    Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)
    Dos desnudos en el bosque (La tierra misma) ($8-12 million). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2016. UPDATE: SOLD FOR $8,005,000, A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR ANY LATIN AMERICAN ARTIST


    Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché  aold for $170,405,000 at Christie’s in New York last night.  This is the second highest price for any work of art at auction.  It was bought by the Long Museum of China.  Roy Lichtenstein’s Nurse made $95,365,000 in a sale which brought in $419,352,000 and got Christie’s November week sales series off to a flying start.

    Bidders from 35 countries took part. The auction was 71% sold by lot and 87% by value. Five new artist records were achieved, for Courbet, Balthus, Lichtenstein, Modigliani and Nara, as well as and two new records for sculpture by Gauguin and Kirchner. Paul Gauguin’s Thérèse, 1902-03, sold for $30,965,000 and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Tänzerin mit gehobenem Bein, 1913, sold for $8,005,000,.

    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’’”

    The previous record for a Modigliani was achieved by Sotheby’s in New York a year ago when Tete (stone) sold for $70 million.  The most expensive painting ever sold at auction was Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) which made $179 million at Christie’s in  New York in May.

    (See posts on for October 20 and September 3, 2015)


    Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché

    Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché

    Roy Lichtenstein - Nurse - sold for $95,365,000

    Roy Lichtenstein – Nurse – sold for $95,365,000