In an overheated art market where anything seems possible, a painting of an outstretched nude woman by the early 20th-century artist Amedeo Modigliani sold on Monday night for $170.4 million with fees, in a packed sales room at Christie’s. It was the second highest price paid for an artwork at auction.
The painting became the 10th work of art to reach nine figures under the hammer. The bidding was palpably tense, with six people vying for the work, and it took nine minutes to sell, with the winning bid finally coming from a Chinese buyer on the phone.
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