Modigliani Painting Sells for $157m at Sotheby’s Auction

By Paul Joseph

A painting by legendary Italian artist Modigliani has sold for $157 million at a Sotheby’s sale, making it the highest ever price fetched at a Sotheby’s auction.

The eye-popping figure was also yielded after the painting of a nude female received the highest ever estimate ever placed on a work of art at auction.

Modigliani’s works have not fared as well as other iconic artists such as Picasso in recent years, and though this isn’t a record sale for the artist (the most expensive Modigliani was a different nude which sold for $170 million in 2015), it indicates a renewed interest in his work.

Even Sotheby’s had confidently estimated that the painting would bring in around $150 million - a sum much higher than the $100 million estimate Christie’s announced for Salvatore Mundi, which went on to become a world record holder after selling for an incredible $450 auction.

While the painting could not secure a world record it did set a record for the auction house Sotheby’s, for whom this is the most expensive painting ever sold.

Presently there is no information about who purchased the painting, but as with other high profile sales, this is likely to emerge before long.

Almost exactly a year ago a Japanese buyer purchased an untitled piece by the late American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat for the princely sum of $110.5 million, making it the most expensive artwork by an American ever sold at auction.

By Paul Joseph