Modigliani sculpture sets artist record in Paris

PARIS Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:28pm IST

A woman views a sculpture by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani entitled ''Tete'' (Head) at an exhibition in front of the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum in Madrid, February 1, 2008. REUTERS/Paul Hanna/Files

A woman views a sculpture by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani entitled ''Tete'' (Head) at an exhibition in front of the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum in Madrid, February 1, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hanna/Files

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - A sculpture by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani has fetched 43.2 million euros ($52.6 million) at a Paris sale, an auction record for the artist and the highest price paid for a work of art sold in France.

The 65 cm limestone work, entitled "Tete", was executed in 1910-12 and was one of only around 10 Modigliani sculptures to be held privately, according to Christie's, which sold the piece.

The artist is known to have created only 27 sculptures overall, and its rarity value, combined with booming values for top works of art, drove prices higher.

"Our Paris sale results confirm a vigorous market in which collectors demonstrate an insatiable appetite for works of great rarity and excellence," said Anika Guntrum, head of Christie's impressionist and modern art department in Paris.

Both Sotheby's and Christie's set world auction records this year, each selling a work of art for more than $100 million.

The Modigliani was from the collection of Gaston Levy, which acquired the work in 1927.

(Writing by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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