Modigliani nude sells for a record $68.9m

La Belle Romaine The painting was created around 1917

A painting of a nude by Amedeo Modigliani has sold for more than $68.9m (£42.7m) at an auction in New York - a record for the artist's work.

Sotheby's said five bidders competed for La Belle Romaine, pushing its price well past its $40m (£24.8m) estimate.

The painting, part of a series of nudes created around 1917, was purchased by an anonymous buyer.

Modigliani's previous auction record was 43.2m euros (£35.8m), set earlier this year in Paris.

"We are delighted with the results of our sale," said Sotheby's Simon Shaw.

"It was a great night for Modigliani... that price represents over four times the price realised when it was sold at Sotheby's in 1999," he added.

Another painting by the artist - Jeanne Hebuterne (au chapeau) - one of the first portraits he painted of his lover, sold for $19.1m (£11.8m), high above its estimate of $9-12m (£5.6-7.4m).

The artist, who lived from 1884 to 1920, originally focused on sculpture but switched to painting in part because of health problems.

Other top-priced works at the Impressionist and Modern Art sale included a canvas from Monet's famous water lily paintings, which fetched $24.7m (£15.3m) and Matisse's Danseuse dans le fauteuil, sol en damier, which sold for $20.8m (£12.9m).

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