Collector pays $170.4m for Modigliani artwork

By Deng Zhangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-11-11 07:47:30

Collector pays $170.4m for Modigliani artwork

Bidding is conducted at Christie's in New York on Monday for Amedeo Modigliani's Reclining Nude, which fetched the second-highest amount ever paid for an artwork sold at auction. Provided to China Daily

Chinese collector Liu Yiqian bought Amedeo Modigliani's signature portrait of a nude woman for $170.4 million on Monday at Christie's in New York, setting a record for the Italian artist's works.

Liu, founder of the Long Museum in Shanghai, won the bidding after more than 10 rounds for Modigliani's Reclining Nude, from 1917, at a price that, according to Christie's, also was the second-highest ever paid for artwork sold at auction.

The winning bid also was the highest that a Chinese buyer has ever paid for a Western artwork. In recent years, super-rich Chinese buyers frequently have offered high prices for works by Western masters such as Picasso, Van Goghand Monet. According to Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie's global president, the auction house has created a good relationship with collectors from China.

After the purchase, Liu, 52, wrote on his WeChat account that Modigliani's piece opens a new phase for the Long Museum's collection.

Regarding the purchase, the Long Museum wrote in an e-mail to China Daily that the masterpiece will enrich the collection of Liu and his wife, who began buying artwork years ago, purchasing not only Chinese artwork, but also art from elsewhere in Asia as well as Europe and the United States.

Reclining Nude will be housed in the Long Museum and shown to the public later, according to the museum.

Liu founded his art museum in Shanghai with his wife, WangWei, in 2012. Since then, he has made several high-priced purchases of Chinese antiques, each grabbing headlines in domestic media.

In July last year, Liu bought a cup used by emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong for a record price of $36.3 million. When he got the cup, he used it for sipping tea, stirring a hot discussion among netizens about whether an antique cup should be used by its owner for such a purpose.

In November last year, he bought an embroidered silk thangka at Christie's in Hong Kong for $45 million, setting a record for a Chinese piece of art. The thangka, which dates back 600 years, depicts Buddhist imagery on fabric.

Liu said at last year's Chinese Art Market Summit that he enjoys offering high bids at auction and has become somewhat addicted to buying artworks at international auction houses.

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular