Modigliani painting sold for $170.4 million at New York auction

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A painting by early 20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani has been sold for $170.4 million at an auction in New York City, making it the second-highest price ever paid at auction.

The painting, called “Nu Couché” (Reclining Nude), belongs to a group of ten works of reclining nudes in which the nude model is shown reclining across the same vivid red couch. Nu Couché in particular is one of the best known and most admired of sensual and erotic nudes made in the midst of one of the most turbulent and traumatic periods of modern history.

The 1917 paining is now one of the world’s most expensive pieces of art after Monday’s auction at Christie’s in New York. The painting is now also Modigliani’s most valuable, surpassing the 1917 painting “Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion,” which was privately sold for $118 million in 2012.

Modigliani was born in Italy in 1884 and moved to Paris in 1906, where he came into contact with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși. Modigliani, who achieved little success during his lifetime, died in Paris in January 1920 as the result of tubercular meningitis.

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