As reported by the International New York Times, a painting of a reclining nude woman entitled “Nu Couché” (1917-18) by early-20th-century Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani sold for $170.4 million with fees this past Monday evening at Christie’s well attended “Artist’s Muse” themed auction in New York.  The buyer is businessman Liu Yiqian, who is among China’s most well-known billionaire art collectors.  The painting sold in nine tense minutes with six people bidding to win the desirable lot.  It was the second most expensive art work ever sold at auction.

Modigliani’s painting was the star lot around Christie’s Monday evening auction, which was designed to attract international buyers of the world’s highest priced art.  Modigliani nudes are regarded as “among the ultimate trophy paintings of the 20th century.”

It was reported that Monday evening’s sale of “Nu Couché” propelled “Modigliani into the $100 Million at Auction Club, whose members include Picasso (three times), Bacon, Giacometti (three times), Warhol and Munch.”

The seller of the Modigliani painting was guaranteed at least a $100 million minimum price.  Monday evening’s sale of 34 lots at Christie’s fetched an impressive $491.4 million.