One of Modigliani’s last to be auctioned at Christie’s

Amedeo Modigliani’s ‘Tête’ (circa 1911–12) is estimated to fetch US$30-40 million. (Pic courtesy of Christie’s)

At its Impressionist and Modern Art evening auction on May 13 in New York, Christie’s will be offering a rare limestone sculpture by Amedeo Modigliani, “Tête.”

“Tête” is one of the 26 carved-stone heads created by the Italian artist in the famous Parisian neighbourhood of Montparnasse, between the years 1911 and 1914.

Best known for his paintings, Amedeo Modigliani is still recognised as one of the pioneering masters of Modern sculpture – alongside Picasso, Brancusi and Matisse.

Hitting the auction block for the first time, “Tête” is estimated to fetch US$30-40 million. It is one of the last sculptural artworks by Modigliani left in private hands – most of them being on show in various international museums.

The sculpture is not, however, expected to break Modigliani’s auction record for sculpture. In 2014, an alternate version of “Tête” sold for $70.7 million at Sotheby’s New York.

Giovanna Bertazzoni, who is co-chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s, said in a statement that “Tête” is “a magical and alluring work by one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.”

Modigliani’s “Tête” will be offered in New York on May 13 as part of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art evening auction.

Other highlights of the sale include Henri Matisse’s “Nu à la fenêtre,” estimated at US$7-10 million; Balthus’s “Thérèse sur la banquette,” estimated at US$12-18 million; and Pablo Picasso’s “Claude à deux ans,” estimated at US$7.0-10 million.