Nude Modigliani painting expected to fetch $150m at auction

The Guardian | Rupert Neate

When it was first exhibited in Paris in 1917, Amedeo Modigliani’s female nude Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) caused such a stir that the police were called and the gallerist was accused of outraging public decency. On Monday it is expected to sell for more than $150m (£111m), becoming one of the most expensive paintings ever and helping push auction sales this fortnight to more than $2bn as the world’s wealthy splash out on masterpieces for their private museums.

The pre-sale estimate is a record. Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which sold for $450m in November, had a pre-sale estimate of $100m. The Modigliani sale, at Sotheby’s in New York, will generate a huge profit for the Irish thoroughbred stud owner John Magnier, who bought the piece from the Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn for $26.9m in 2003. Simon Shaw, the co-head of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art department, said the increase in the painting’s value “reflects the growing love of Modigliani’s work and the significance of this piece in his oeuvre”…read more

Image:  Nu couché (sur le côté gauche), an 1917 oil painting by Amedeo Modigliani, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s in New York. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images