The 1917-1918 painting will appear in their 'curated' sale entitled The Artist's Muse on November 9. Once again they are staging their Impressionist & Modern and Contemporary art auctions all in the same week - a shift in the calendar they first introduced in May. Sotheby's are maintaining the traditional approach, staging the sales as two separate series back-to-back over a fortnight.
Nu couché is appearing at auction for the first time. The 2ft x 3ft (60 x 92cm) oil on canvas was one of a series of female nudes made for art dealer Léopold Zboroswki that caused a scandal when exhibited at Modigliani's first and only one-man show at the Galerie Berthe Weill in Paris. Outraged by the content of this show - which caused a crowd to form outside the gallery window where one of Modigliani's nudes was openly on display - the police demanded the immediate closure of the exhibition.
The current auction record for a work by Modigliani is the $70.7m (£44.2m) including premium fetched by the sculpture Tête at Sotheby's New York in November 2014.