Modigliani was a prolific draftsman. He had learned during his artistic training to draw quickly. Close to the conceptions of the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where he will soon meet Jeanne, he knows how to carry out speedy studies of female nudes in poses where the natural prevails over the conventional.
Zbo organizes paintings of nudes by Modi. He chooses pretty women whom he leads into an apartment-workshop where he has installed Modigliani. The artist is paid 15 francs a day and the model 5 francs for the session.
The rest is easy to imagine. The woman has won her 5 francs and is in a hurry to leave. The artist has little time. His painting is based on a drawing that brings to his best images a great spontaneity. The bare skin partitioned by the lines is painted in a warm color. The woman is lying or sitting on the bed, very simply, without decoration and without narrative effect.
A Nu couché sur le côté, oil on canvas 90 x 147 cm painted in 1917, was sold for $ 27M including premium by Christie's on November 4, 2003. It will be sold by Sotheby's in New York on May 14, lot 18. The press release announces an estimate in excess of $ 150M. It is the largest painting in this series and the only reclining nude by Modigliani to be displayed in all the extent of her arms and legs.
The attitude is not very erotic. The woman is seen from behind. The head turned for looking at the artist and the firmly sealed mouth reveal some impatience.
On November 9, 2015, Christie's sold a 60 x 92 cm Nudo Rosso for $ 170M including premium. This nude reclining on her back dated 1917-1918 seems indeed later by its softer line, an even warmer color and also a friendly attitude of this model who exhibits all her charms in full front.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
SOLD for $ 157M including premium