“Amedeo Modigliani”

“$170 Million Masterpiece Should Have Been Kept in Italy”; Mayor of Modigliani’s hometown speaks out

Filippo Nogarin, mayor of Livorno, the Italian hometown of Amedeo Modigliani, says that the record-breaking sale of the artist’s masterpiece Nu couché (1917-18) to Chinese collector Liu Yiqian was a “missed opportunity” for Italy. Modigliani’s controversial painting was first commissioned by Polish art dealer, Leopold Zboroswki. For the last 30 years however, Nu couché has been part of a private collection until being sold by the anonymous seller on Monday 9 November 2015. Chinese Collector Liu Yiqian won the telephone bid at the Christie’s New York Auction of 20th Century art, focused on the theme of “The Artist’s Muse”. The painting was sold for $170.4 million, making it the second-most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. Liu and his wife Wang Wei plan to display the Italian masterpiece at their Long Museum in Shanghai, created in 2012, and recently named one of the largest private Museum in China. “It will be an opportunity for Chinese art lovers to see good artworks without having to leave the country, which is one of the main reasons why we founded the museums,” the collector told the New York Times. Nogarin strongly disagrees with the Collector’s motives. He told the Guardian that, by ending up in the hands of a private collector, “Its beauty could have affected many people and now that may not happen”. Nogarin speaks of the great loss for Livorno as “Modigliani is celebrated a lot here…The painting could have become a [local]...

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Modigliani Nude Breaks Records at Christie’s “Artist’s Muse” Sale

Amedeo Modigliani’s painting Nu Couché (Reclining Nude) (1917-18) topped the bids at Christie’s “Artist’s Muse” Sale in New York on 9 November 2015, fetching $170.4-million, the second-highest price in auction history. The work was won by an anonymous Chinese buyer via a phone bid. Seven anonymous bidders fought for the nude, reaching its pre-sale estimate of $100 million within fifteen seconds. The palpably sexual painting depicts a dark-haired, voluptuous model and was painted just a few years before the artist’s death from tubercular meningitis. It has spent almost 30 years off the market in a private collection, and far exceeded the previous record for a Modigliani work, which was set by Tête (1911-12), a carved stone sculpture that sold for $70.7 million at Sotheby’s New York, November 2014. New auction highs were also achieved for Balthus, Gustave Courbet, Yoshitomo Nara and Roy Lichtenstein, whose work Nurse (1964) sold for the second-highest price at $95.4 million, smashing its estimate of $80 million. The artist’s previous auction high was $56.1 million, set at Christie’s New York in May 2013 by Woman with Flowered Hat (1963). Other top selling artists at the auction include Paul Gaugin with $31 million for a wooden sculpture of a Tahitian woman, Thérèse, (circa 1902–03), Pablo Picasso with $22.6 million for a painting, and Paul Cézanne with $20.9 million for one of his card player works. The total revenue of the sale was $491.4 million falling just short of the house’s estimate of $442 million and $540 million. Despite the records set, ten works failed to sell and of the twenty-four that did, nine sold below their estimates. Overall, it was a mixed night for the auction house.  ...

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Sotheby’s achieves their highest total auction result ever

The Sotheby’s New York 4 November Impressionist and Modern Art sale has achieved the highest result for any auction in 270 years of their history, bringing in a total of $422.1 million. The three most expensive works of the sale were as follows: Giacometti’s Chariot, which sold for a staggering $101 million; Amedeo Modigliani’s totemic goddess Tête, which sold for $70.7 million, setting a new world record for the artist; and van Gogh’s Still Life, Vase with Daises and Poppies, selling to a private Asian collector for $61.8 million. Three works by Monet from a private American collection totalled $61.9 million, led by Alice Hoschedé au jardin, which achieved $33.7 million. Giacometti’s Chariot is the second sculpture in auction history to fetch over $100 million, and is the second-highest auction price for the artist, who’s L’homme qui marche I sold for $104.3 million at Sotheby’s London in 2010. Sotheby’s has lead the market for Impressionist and Modern Art for the past three years — something which has been made particularly clear not only with this landmark sale, but with their opening February Evening Sale that totalled $266.6 million, the highest total for any London...

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Ransom for a Modigliani

New York, 14 February 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). Modigliani is really sparking controversy these days. The last to date is quite unexpected. A French art dealer is demanding financial compensation – a more elegant word for “ransom” – to disclose information concerning the origin of a Modigliani painting. Let us recall the extravagant episodes of this new affair dealing with the work titled Portrait of a Woman. On 12 February 2012, Asher Edelman, chairman of ArtAssure Ltd, serving as consultant in this new Modigliani case, released the elements of the complaint registered at the Supreme Court of the New York State by Edinburgh Investments Limited (EIL), current possessor of the portrait, against Sidney Tenoudji, son of a former owner. Michael D. Dingman, representative of EIL, purchased the painting in 1988 from a New York-based gallery for $1.44m. In 2010, he asked Sotheby’s to value the works of his collection for insurance. Now Sotheby’s experts expressed serious reservation as for the portrait’s authenticity, asking further research to be led concerning its origin. Indeed, not only did the market overflow with fake Modigliani paintings worldwide, but the Ambrogio Ceroni catalogue raisonné – a true reference – did not mention this portrait (in spite of its being mentioned in Joseph Lanthemann’s, published in 1970). For Michael Dingman, it was the beginning of a paper chase. He first solicited Marc Restellini, director of the Pinacothèque, Paris, and Christopher Gaillard from Gurr Johns in Manhattan, who first valued the work $12m. In his quest, Dingman discovered the identity of the previous owner, thanks to the Smithsonian Institute. Edmond Cohen Tenoudji, famous French cinema producer and art collector, specialised in 19th and 20th-century art, acquired the portrait in 1958 to Parisian gallery David & Garnier. Sotheby’s New York thus sent the painting in Paris,...

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Modigliani and Picasso at Bonhams

London, 2 January 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). On 7 February, Amedeo Modigliani is expected to lead the Impressionist and Modern Art auction organised by Bonhams in London. His painting Jeune fille aux cheveux noirs, from the collections of the Laurence S. Rockefeller Fund, is estimated between £700,000 and £1 million. This enigmatic portrait of a women in sleek silhouette and with a deep gaze marked the artist’s career and is now particularly sought after in the market. Bonhams hopes to receive the same success brought by Portrait de femme in June 2011, that was awarded £1.8 million. Picasso’s works should also draw the attention of buyers, particularly with the oil painting Notre-Dame de Paris, estimated between £700,000 and £1 million. Other highlights include Raoul Dufy’s painting, Atelier de la rue Jeanne-d’Arc, nu couché au passant (estimated £250,000-350,000); Futebol by Candido Portinari (estimated £120,000-180,000) and Rene Magritte’s bronze Le puits de vérité (estimated £150,000-200,000). Emphasis will also be put on the colourful and sunny landscapes by Carlos Nadal as five of his paintings will be displayed at the auction, all estimated between £3,000-30,000. Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Paul Signac, Marc Chagall, Lyonel Feininger, Bernard Buffet, Marino Marini, and Man Ray will also be honoured at the...

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