Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) was part of an exhibition of the Italian artists’ work which Parisian police closed on the day of its opening, such was the shocked response. At almost 5m in length, it was one of Modigliani’s largest works, and the guide price had been a record.
The unknown buyer put the Italian into an exclusive club of artists whose works have made over $150m at auction, the other members being Pablo Picasso and Leonardo da Vinci. .
Closer to home, the National Museum of Ireland said yesterday it will exhibit a hugely important collection of 17th-century Irish silver which it bought last month at a Christie’s auction in New York.
It did not state the price, but auction records show the six-part dressing service realised $200,000 (€169,000), which includes a buyer’s premium.
Made by Dublin silversmith John Segar and dated 1685, the exceptional condition of the items was attributed to the long periods in safekeeping for the collection which originated from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, possibly from the Handcock family of Moydrum Castle. Just before the 1798 United Irishmen rebellion, it was placed in the La Touche Bank for safety reasons until around 1870.