Sotheby’s announces a Modigliani to lead its November Impressionist and Modern sale in New York. The work is estimated in excess of $40m:
La Belle Romaine last appeared on the market in 1999, when it sold at Sotheby’s New York for $16.8 million, a world record price for any work by Modigliani at the time. In addition, Sotheby’s set the current record for a painting by Modigliani in 2004 with our sale of Jeanne Hébuterne (devant une porte) for $31.4 million.” La Belle Romaine is from Modigliani’s most important series of nudes, all painted circa 1917. Seven of the works caused a sensation upon their début in Paris that year at the Galerie Berthe Weill, attracting a crowd as well as the local police, who temporarily shut down the exhibition. The depiction of contemporary women, removed from any allegorical or historical narrative and exuding a confident sensuality, was a new and shocking experience.