Sotheby’s has unveiled Chinese-French master Sanyu’s Nu as a top lot for sale in the houses’s live Hong Kong modern art evening sale on October 5, which will take place at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The work’s official estimate is available upon request with Sotheby’s. It is expected to sell for at least HKD $100 million ($12.9 million).
Dated from the 1950-60s, the present Nu measures at 125 cm by 95.5 cm and depicts a reclined nude figure on a stark white background. The style and composition are nearly identical to Nu (1965), which sold for HKD $198 million ($25.5 million) at Sotheby’s in October 2019. The same season, Five Nudes sold at Christie’s for almost $39 million (1950s), the artist’s current auction record. In July, Sanyu’s Quatre Nus, sold for HKD $258 million ($33 million) during Sotheby’s Hong Kong sales.
The artist developed his nude studies after coming to Paris around the 1920s. The present Nu and the one sold at Sotheby’s in 2019 mark a stylistic change from his early nudes. He began incorporating a stark contoured outline in his figurative works, said to be a feature taken from Chinese calligraphy.