Modigliani Paint­ing Pulls $157M, Pi­casso $37M at Sotheby’s Auc­tion

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Austin My­ers

Ital­ian-Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani's 1917 paint­ing “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)” was sold for $157 mil­lion, a Pi­casso's 1932 “Le Re­pos,” was snagged for $36.9 mil­lion at a huge Sotheby's auc­tion last Mon­day.

The Modigliani paint­ing is con­sid­ered the great­est work of his series which essen­tially rein­vented the nude for the Mod­ern era. Trans­lated into English the paint­ing is ti­tled “Ly­ing Naked (on the left side)”. It is the largest sized paint­ing in his en­tire ca­reer. It started with a pre-auc­tion price of $150 Mil­lion. This paint­ing is one of 22 re­clin­ing nude paint­ings by Modigliani, only 9 of the series are in pri­vate hands.

The Pablo Pi­casso piece from 1932“Le Re­pos “is one of the sev­eral of his lover Marie-Thérèse. He ex­e­cuted his ma­jor series of paint­ings de­pict­ing her in Jan­uary 1932, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of Pi­casso's first ret­ro­spec­tive that com­ing June at Ga­leries Ge­orges-Pe­tit in Paris. Art Mar­ket Mon­i­tor de­scribed the paint­ing: “frank avowal of Pi­casso's love for Marie-Thérèse is par­tic­u­larly ev­i­dent in this work”. This paint­ing was snagged for $36.9 Mil­lion.

The story be­hind the Pi­casso and how it ended up in the auc­tion is even more in­ter­est­ing. Sue Gross was awarded the paint­ing in Au­gust 2017 af­ter she and Bill agreed to divvy up some of the mar­i­tal as­sets by mak­ing al­ter­nat­ing picks. In a coin toss, Sue got to pick first —

and se­lected the Pi­casso, the NY Post re­ported in an ex­clu­sive re­cently.

When Mr. Gross then tried to make ar­range­ments to trans­fer the pricey piece of art — which he be­lieved was hang­ing on the wall of his bed­room — to his wife, he was stunned to learn she al­ready had it.

“Bill was shocked Sue al­ready had the piece,” a source told The Post, adding that Bill said, “She stole the damn thing.” It turns out Sue swapped out the real Pi­casso and re­placed it with a copy of the master­piece she had painted years be­fore. Sue Gross was told by her ex to take what­ever art she de­sired, but it was ex­pected of here to just take it and not re­place it with a fake! “He said take all the fur­ni­ture and art that you'd liken and so I did,” she told the Post

Jewish Voice Pub­lisher David Ben­hooren at Sotheby’s get­ting a close up look at Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917 paint­ing “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche”

Pi­casso from 1932“Le Re­pos”

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