A Once Scandalous Nude Painting Sold For $157 Million

Gabrielle Okun | Reporter

A once scandalous nude painting sold for over $157 million at Sotheby’s auction in New York City Monday.

The 1917 “Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)” painting by Italian-Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani was auctioned off in Manhattan, according to The Associated Press. This painting is one of Modigliani’s 22 nude portraits from an exhibit that police shut down on opening day in France due to the provocative imagery.

The painting is also considered the best in Modigliani’s collection due to its unique attributes, Metro reported. This humongous art piece measures 58 inches wide and is Modigliani’s only horizontal painting with a complete portrait of a naked woman, according to Sotheby’s. The auction house originally estimated the painting was worth $150 million.

“This painting reimagines the nude for the modern era,” Simon Shaw, one of the leaders of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern art department, said in a statement, Art News reported. “Modigliani depicted his models as confident and self-possessed in their sexuality…Together these pictures signal a watershed in perhaps the greatest tradition in art—there is the nude before Modigliani, and there is the nude after Modigliani.”

Modigliani’s innovative artwork was previously displayed by Tate Modern in London, according to The Art Newspaper.

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