Nude Painting by Amedeo Modigliani Could Fetch $150 Million at Auction

Playing This Painting Could Sell for $150 Million

A painting from Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani is expected to rake in $150 million when it goes up for auction next week.

Sotheby's and Christie's spring art auctions showcase iconic painters like Modigliani and Picasso, and many hitting the auction block could bring in record setting figures. 

Modigliani’s "Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)" is considered his "greatest" nude portrait and also his largest painting measuring at 58 inches wide.

It was painted over a century ago and according to Sotheby’s website, the “striking and sensual images quite literally stopped traffic and prompted the police to close the show." 

The painting was part of a series of 22 reclining nudes and was purchased in 2003 for $26.9 million by a private collector. It is now hitting the auction block again. 

Modigliani was known for his sculptures but in 1908 started dabbling in painting nude figures. By 1914, he abandoned sculpture and focused solely on painting nudes. His styles blended Italian Renaissance and Mannerist, African carvings, and Cubism. 

"We're thrilled to be offering the most valuable work of art ever presented at auction," Brooke Lampley, the vice chairwoman of Sotheby's global fine arts division, told CBS News.

In addition to Modigliani’s "Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)," Christie's is selling a Picasso from the collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller that is estimated at $100 million. Picasso's nude "Fillette à la corbeille fleurie" shows a young woman holding a basket of flowers.

"It is such a sensuous and intimate portrayal of his muse Marie-Thérèse, one of his many lovers," Lampley said.

The Rockefeller auction, on May 8, could raise more than $500 million for charity. Rockefeller, the grandson of Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, died in March at the age of 101. His family is selling the art collection to benefit cultural, educational, medical and environmental charities.

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