$53 Million Dollar "Tete" Sale Sets French Record in Art

Arts & Culture The art market is popping ever so effervescently these days, as Christie's International announced the $53-million sales price of a limestone head by sculptor Amedeo Modigliani. The amount sets a new record for art sold at a French auction. According to Christies own pre-auction projections, it was a surprise to all as the price paid for Modigliani's "Tete" was 10 times more than the auctioneers its low-end projection.

The sculpture, which has been privately owned since 1927, is a two-foot tall statue that was influenced by the work of Modigliani's mentor, Constantin Brancusi. Brancusi, a Romanian sculptor, was a leading force for modernist sculptors.

According to, it is among the last sculptures of the artist that remains in privately owned. "Tete" had been in the collection of Gaston Levy, a supermarket mogul of his day. A painting by Matisse that sold for $45.6 million in February 2009 is now the second most expensive piece of art sold at a French Auction.

James Rothaar

As an independent contractor, James has written content for and other leading online luxury lifestyle magazines. Rothaar previously served as the senior-tenured staff writer for JustLuxe, having worked with the digital magazine since 2005. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida, and works as an independent marketing consultant and a freelance writer. James Rothaar has an MBA degree...(Read More)

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