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Impressionist & Modern Art
Sotheby's New York

7 PM, May 14, 2018

Sale 9860

Modig nude 18


Lot 18, "Nu Couché (sur le côté gauche)," by Amedeo Modigliani, oil on canvas, 35 1/4 by 57 3/4 inches, 1917

By Carter B. Horsley

The evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art May 14, 2018 at Sotheby's New York is highlighted by a large nude by Amedeo Modigliani, a fine landscape by Claude Monet, a good landscape by Edvard Munch, numerous Picassos, a fine Schiele drawing, and nice small paintings by Manet and Matisse.

The cover illustration of the catalogue is Lot 18, "Nu Couché (sur le côté gauche)," by Modigliani (1884-1920), an oil on canvas that measures 35 1/4 by 57 3/4 inches.  It was painted in 1917, was recently exhibited at the Tate Modern in London where it was the cover of the exhibition catalogue, and has been widely published.  It is the largest work ever painted by Modigliani.

Between 1916 and 1919, Modigliani painted 35 nudes on commission from the Polish expatriate and art dealer Léopold Zborowski and Sotheby's lavish catalogue printed 12 of them.

The lot, which was consigned by John Magnier, an Irish horse breeder, has an estimate on request that was reported to be $150 million, the highest ever placed for a work of art at auction.  It sold for $157,159,000 including the buyer's premium as do all results mentioned in this article.


According to a May 15, 2018 article in The New York Times by Robin Pogrebin and Scott Reyburn, the price of this lot "fell short of the last auction high for a work by the Italian modernist: $170.4 million for the more overtly sensual 1917-18 canvas, "Nu Couché," which sold in 1915 at Christie's to Liu Yiqian, a former taxi driver turned billionaire art collector."


The total for the auction was $318,313,599 with only 71.3 percent of the 45 offered lots not selling.

Monet 15

Lot 15, "Matinée sur la Seine," by Claude Monet, 43, oil on canvas, 35 1/8 by 36 3/8 inches, 1896

Lot 15, "Matinée sur la Seine," is an oil on canvas by Claude Monet (1840-1926) that measures 35 1/8 by 36 3/8 inches and was painted in 1896.  According to the catalogue, it was one of 21 similar works by the artist including one at the Metrolitan Museum of Art in New York and two at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.  It has an estimate of $18,000,000 to $25,000,000.  It sold for $20,550,000.


Monet  42

Lot 42, "Inondation à Giverny," by Monet, oil on canvas, 25 5/8 by 32 inches, 1886

Another Giverny scene by Monet is Lot 42, "Inondation à Giverny," an 1886 oil on canvas that measures 25 5/8 by 32 inches.  It is much more impressionistic and poetic than Lot 15, but has a much lower estimate of $2,000,000 to $3,000,000.  It sold for only $2,655,000.

Picasso 8

Lot 8, "Le Repos," by Pablo Picasso, oil on canvas, 18 1/8 inches square, 1932

"Le Repos," Lot 8, by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) is a very striking, simple and strong portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter with her head facing upwards, at rest, or asleep. The 18-inch-square oil on canvas was done in 1932.  When it was offered at Sotheby's New York November 9, 2000, it had an estimate of $3,000,000 to $4,000,000. It sold then for $7,925,750 and had previously sold at Christie's in London in 1991 for $2.4 million. At this auction, it has an estimate of $25,000,000 to $35,000,000.  It sold for $36,920,500 to an Asian private dealer drawing applause from the auction-goers.


Picasso 20

Lot 20, "Famille d'Arlequin," by Picasso, gouache and ink on card laid down on cradled panel, 11 5/8 by 8 1/2 inches, 1905

Lot 20, "Famille d'Arlequin," by Picasso, is a gouache and ink on card laid down on cradled panel.  It measures 11 5/8 by 8 1/2 inches and was painted in 1905.  It once belonged to Joan Whtney Payson of Manhasset, L. I., and has been widely published.  It has an estimate of $8,000,000 to $12,000,000.  It sold for $9,260,000.


Picasso 21

Lot 21, "Femme assise," by Picasso, oil on canvas, 51 1/8 by 38 inches, 1949

Lot 21 is a good oil on canvas by Picasso entitled "Femme assise."  It measures 51 1/8 by 38 inches and was painted in 1949.  It has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.  It failed to sell.

Picasso 28

Lot 28, "Femme au chien," by Picasso, oil on canvas, 51 1/8 by 38 1/4 inches, 1953

Another good oil on canvas by Picasso is Lot 28, "Femme au chien."  It measures 51 1/8 by 38 1/4 inches and was painted in 1953. It has an estimate of $12,000,000 to $18,000,000.  It failed to sell.

Picasso 32

Lot 32, "Paysage," by Picasso, oil on canvas, 34 5/8 by 45 1/2 inches, 1965

Lot 32 is a large landscape oil on canvas by Picasso that measures 34 5/8 by 45 1/2 inches.  It was painted in 1965.  It has an estimate of $3,000,000 to $5,000,000.  It failed to sell.

Picasso 2

Lot 30, "Pierrot et danceuse (La Danceuse bleue," by Picasso, oil on canvas, 15 1/8 by 18 1/8 inches, 1900

Lot 30 is a nice 1900 oil on canvas by Picasso entitled "Pierrot et danceuse (La Danceuse bleue)."  It measures 15 1/8 by 18 1/8 inches.  It was included in the 1980 Picasso retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  It has an estimate of $2,500,000 to $3.500,000.  It sold for $3,375,000.

Leger 16

Lot 16, "La Darnier Jaune," by Fernand Léger, oil on canvas, 25 1/2 by 21 1/4 inches, 1918

Lot 161 is a fine oil on canvas by Fernand Léger entitled "La Darnier Jaune."  It measures 25 1/2 by 21 1/4 inches and was painted in 1918.  It once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé.  It has an estimate of $6,000,000 to $8,000,000.  It sold for $5,873,000.



Leger 38

Lot 38, "Dessin pour 'Contrastes de formes No. 2," by Fernard Legér, gouache and brush and ink on paper, 19 1/4 by 25 1/2 inches, 1914

Lot 38 is an excellent gouache and brush and ink on paper by Legér entitled "Dessin pour 'Contrastes de formes No. 2."  it measures 19 1/4 by 25 1/2 inches and was painted in 1914.  It was included in the 1971 exhibition "The Cubist Epoch" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on New York.  It has an estimate of $2,700,000 to $5,000,000.  It sold for $3,135,000.

Munch  36

Lot 36, "Sommernatt, Asgardstrand (Summer Night, Asgardstrand), by Edvard Munch, oil on canvas, 45 1/4 by 39 3/4 inches, 1902

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) is one of the great Expressionist painters and Lot 36, "Sommernatt, Asgardstrand (Summer Night, Asgardstrand)," is a very fine example of his dramatic style. Executed in 1902, it is an oil on canvas that measures 45 1/4 by 39 3/4 inches. When it was auctioned at Sotheby's New York May 3, 2005, it had a modest estimate of $4,000,000 to $6,000,000 and was hammered down at $4,000,000.

The catalogue provided the following commentary on this lot:

"The present composition depicts the surroundings of the artist's house at Arsgardstrand on a clear summer night. A firm believer in the psychological and emotional, rather than documentray quality of art, Munch chose different times of day in order to imbue his landscapes with certain moods he sought to convey. Inspired by the notion of the 'blue hour' a distinctly fin-de-siècle concept rooted in early Romantic literature and associated wth the long summer evenings typical of Scandinavia, the artist here depicts his scene at the twilight hour, when the sky is filled with stars, but the landscape is not yet enveloped by darkness of the night."

At this auction, the lot has an estimate of $10,000,000 to $15,000,000.  It sold for $11,292,000.



Manet 31

Lot 31, "Profil de jeune fille," by Edouard Manet, oil on canvas, 12 7/8 by 9 3/4 inches, 1880

Lot 31 is a sweet small oil on canvas portrait of a young girl by Edouard Manet.  It measures 12 7/8 by 9 3/4 inches.  It was painted in 1880 and has been widely exhibited and published.  It has an estimate of $1,800,000 to $2,500,000.  It sold for $4,292,400.

Picabia  3

Lot 3, "Force Cornique," by Francis Picabia, watercolor, pencil and pen and ink on paper, 25 1/2 by 21 1/8 inches, 1914


Lot 3, "Force Cornique," by Francis Picabia (1879-1953) is a strong early watercolor, pencil and pen and ink on paper that measures 25 1/2 by 21 1/8 inches as opposed to the artist's later mostly trashy works.  It was painted in 1914.  It has been widely published.  It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $1,119,000.


Schiele 5

Lot 5, "Standing female in shirt and black stockings," by Egon Schiele, gouache, watercolor and pencil on paper, 21 3/4 by 15 inches, 1911

Lot 5 is an excellent gouache, watercolor and pencil on paper by Egon Schiele (1890-1918) of a standing female in shirt and black stockings.  It measures 21 3/4 by 15 inches and was drawn in 1911.  The catalogue entry notes that it is a "hauntingly beautiful example of Schiele's early Expressionistic work."  It has an estimate of $1,200,000 to $1,800,000.  It sold for $2,055,000.


Feiniger  14

Lot 14, "Dunes, Hazy Evening," by Lyonel Feininger, oil on canvas, 24 by 41 inches, 1944

Lot 14 is an excellent oil on canvas by Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956) entitled "Dunes, Hazy Evening."  It measures 24 by 41 inches and was painted i 1944.  It has an estimate of $800,000 to $1,200,000.  It sold for $1,035,000.


Cassatt 11

Lot 11, "A Goodnight Hug," by Mary Cassatt, pastel on brown paper laid down on board, 16 1/2 by 24 3/4 inches, 1880

Lot 11 is an excellent pastel by Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) that was exhibited at the 6th Exposition of Impressionist Paintings in Paris in 1881.  It measures 16 1/2 by 24 3/4 inches.  It has been widely published.  It has a modest estimate of $700,000 to $1,000,000.  It sold for $4,518,200.


See The City Review article on the Spring 2017 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2016 evening auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2016 day auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2016 auction of Impressionist & Modern Art at Christie's New York
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2016 auction at Christie's New York of Impressionist & Modern Art
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2014 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
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See The City Review article on the Spring 2013 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2013 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's New York

See The City Review article on the Fall 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Fall 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's New York
See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2012 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2011 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Christie's
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See The City Review article on the Fall 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2010 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2009 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's

See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2008 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2007 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2006 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2005 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's November 2, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern evening sale at Sotheby's in the Spring, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction in the Fall, November, 2005
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's November 5, 2004
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's May 4, 2004
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See The City Review article on the May 5, 2004 evening auction at Sotheby's of Property of the Greentree Foundation from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney
See The City Review article on the Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's May 6, 2004
See The City Review article on the Spring 2004 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2003 Impressionist & Modern Art Part 2 day auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Fall 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art evening auction at Phillips de Pury & Luxembourg
See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist & Modern Art day auction at Christie's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art evening auction at Sotheby's
See The City Review article on the Spring 2002 Impressionist Art Part Two day auction at Sotheby's
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See The City Review article on the Christie's evening sale of Twentieth Century Art May 9, 2000


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