JERUSALEM— A painting by Italian-Jewish artist Amedeo Modigliani sold at auction in Jerusalem for $8.6 million, to a bidder from France.
Anne Bjarne,” the 1919 oil painting that sold recently, is believed to be the
most expensive piece of art ever sold in Israel.
The Modigliani work,
from the private collection of Israeli businessman and millionaire Meshulam
Riklis, was sold by the Matsart gallery and auction house.
According to a story in
the Jerusalem Post, the previous record- holder was Impressionist painter
Camille Pissarro’s “The Meadow with the Grey Horse, Eragny, 1893,” which sold
for $1.2 million in 2010.
Modigliani’s 1919 painting, is being held in New York,
which will save the buyer roughly $1 million by avoiding the 18 percent VAT that
would have applied if it was sold in Israel.
Modigliani, a descendant of Sephardic Jewish
intellectuals, was born in 1884 in the port city of Livorno, Italy. He suffered
from alcoholism, drug addition and was destitute when he died of tubercular
meningitis at the age of 35.
Modigliani was best known for incorporating a modern
style characterized by mask-like faces and elongation of form.
Riklis, the JPost story
said, is donating some of the proceeds of the record sale to the Israel Dignity
Fund, which utilizes art therapy to assist wounded IDF soldiers.