John Magnier's Modigliani masterpiece sells for $157 million
John Magnier has sold a nude portrait by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani for $157.2 million, after the masterpiece was auctioned at Sotheby’s on Monday.
The Coolmore partner, who was not present at the sale in New York, purchased Nu couche (sur le cote gauche) in 2003 for just under $27m, but its value has since rocketed and it had the highest pre-auction estimate in history.
While the canvas also broke the record for highest-priced piece in the 274-year history of Sotheby’s auction house, it did not exceed the $170m paid for one of Modigliani’s paintings set in 2015, which was another nude portrait.
Bidding for the portrait started at $125m, but began to stall towards the $140m mark where only a handful of collectors were involved, leading officials to characterise the sale as "measured".
The price for the 1917 oil painting fell well short of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’, which in November became the most expensive painting ever sold at $450m having had a pre-auction estimate of $100 million.
Magnier remains the owner of three-year-old Amedeo Modigliani, who is still entered in the Derby next month.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com