• 30 Apr 2018

On March 12th 2018 Art-Trope wrote an article about the biggest collection of nudes by Artist Modigliani ever shown in the United-Kingdom. Today, Sotheby’s announced the upcoming auction in May 2018 of one of the Artworks exhibited at the Tate Museum. It is estimated at 150 million dollars.

Reclining Nude from the Back in 1917 by Amedeo Modigliani

Reclining Nude from the Back, 1917 © Amedeo Modigliani

Just exhibited, just sold

The exhibition dedicated to Modigliani organized by the Tate Museum from November 23rd to April 2nd 2018 commemorates the British police intervention in the Artist’s exhibition at the Berthe Weil Gallery in 1917. “It is the largest group of his nudes which have ever been shown together in the United-Kingdom” said the exhibition’s Curator Nancy Ireson. The canvas that provoked the scandal at the time represented for the first time pubic hairs on a nude in painting. It is precisely that Artwork that will be sold in auctions in Sotheby’s Modern Art and Impressionism upcoming auctions on May 14th 2018. The canvas was hanging on the walls of the Tate until early April 2018.

This Artwork by painter Amedeo Modigliani is a nude that was made in 1917 and provoked a scandal for showing pubic hairs for the first time.

Lying Nude (from the left side), 1917 © Amedeo Modigliani

A mysterious buyer

Sotheby’s auction house refused to disclose the identity of the Artwork’s sale initiator. However, Bloomberg identified the owner as the Irish billionaire John Magnier. Apparently he bought the canvas for 26.9 million dollars at Christie’s in 2003. At the time, Steve Wynn, the casino mogul decided to sell the canvas. In the Artist’s whole nude series painted in 1916 and 1917, the Artwork in auctions is the largest. It is also the horizontal only one that shows the model completely. According to the Art Newspaper Sotheby’s worldwide co-head of Impressionist and Modern Art Simon Shaw, said in a statement “while situating itself within a classical canon of nude painting, the work is radically innovative in style… there is the nude before Modigliani, and there is the nude after Modigliani.”

A buyer already there

The announced 150 million dollars represent, according to Sotheby’s “the highest estimate ever placed on a work of Art at auction.” It seems that the work of Art has already found a buyer. Indeed, an irrevocable bid has been set up. It means that a third party agreed to buy it for a price that has not been disclosed yet. However if the bids of the May auction go higher that the agreed sum, the third party will beneficiate from a discount. Such a system has been running since the early 2000s. Nevertheless, its opacity has been denounced many times by several actors of the Fine Arts Market. In November 2015 the Artwork “Nu couché”(1917-18) was sold for 170.4 million dollars at Christie’s in New York. There were six potential buyers raised the bids. Sotheby’s hopes a similar success.

Nude in 1917 by Amedeo Modigliani

Nude, 1917 © Amedeo Modigliani


Read the article about the exhibition of Photographer Arié Botbol at the Photo Doc Salon in Paris here.

Source: The Art Newspaper