Painting Declared Obscene in 1917 Sells for $157M

Modigliani nude breaks Sotheby's record
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2018 12:33 AM CDT
$157M Modigliani Nude Smashes Sotheby's Record
This 1917 oil painting, "Nu couche (sur le cote gauche)" by Amedeo Modigliani, was auctioned at Sotheby's in New York in their Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale Monday, May 14, 2018.   (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

A nude painting considered too obscene to display in Paris a century ago sold at an auction in New York City for $157.2 million Monday night, setting a new record for Sotheby's auction house but not for artist Amadeo Modigliani, the Guardian reports. Nu couche (sur le cote gauche), the Italian-born artist's largest painting, is one of only five of his nudes ever to hit the auction block. When it was first displayed in Paris a century ago, in Modigliani's first and only solo show, police immediately shut the exhibition down, the AP reports. The artist died three years later at the age of 35. (Another Modigliani nude sold for $170 million in 2015.)

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