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Amedeo Modigliani: ‘Nu Couché (Reclining Nude)

Chinese Billionaire Buys Amedeo Modigliani’s Nude for $170.4m

The billionaire founder of a Shanghai museum paid $170.4m for an Amedeo Modigliani nude at Christie’s in New York on Monday.

The Italian painter’s “Nu Couché (Reclining Nude)” went under auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen’s hammer for $152m before fees, marking the second-highest price for a work sold at auction and far exceeding the estimate of about $100m.

The portrait prompted a back-and-forth rally between half a dozen bidders, most over the phone, pushing the price up until it was sold to Liu Yiqian, who with his wife Wang Wei founded two of Shanghai’s best-known private art museums, the Long Museum Pudong and Long Museum West Bund.

Mr Liu is one of China’s many rags-to-riches billionaires who are determined to surround themselves with the finest things in life, from traditional Chinese furniture to modern artworks from China and abroad.