The French painter, known for his sensuous depictions of Classical figures, painted the 3ft 1in x 17in (96 x 44cm) oil on canvas in 1926, a few years after he discovered Cubism through the work of Georges Braque.
During this decade his nudes became more geometrical, echoing Picasso’s contemporary ‘Pompeiian’ figures and the nudes of Poussin. His exposure to the Nabis and Fauvism also lent colour to his work.
Considered a prime example from his 1920s period, the nude offered by Piguet was knocked down at SFr55,000 (£50,000), nearly four times its upper estimate.
Though he never reached the same heights as the artists that inspired him, Souverbie is nevertheless regarded as a key figure in 20th century art and enjoyed international recognition in his time. Among his best-known commissions where the monumental sets and costumes he designed for the Opéra Garnier in Paris.
The sale on March 15 also featured an intimate work showing a yacht painted in 1905 by the French Impressionist Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947).
It was among a series of pictures he created on the beaches around Dieppe where the French painter would escape when Paris got too much. “In Paris I am a critic, I cannot work there, there is too much noise, too many distractions. I know that other painters get used to this life,” he once said.
Notably, the orange-pink tones used in the sky shows the beginnings of Bonnard’s experimentation with Fauvism. Appearing at auction for the first time in over 40 years, the 9 x 6in (23 x 16cm) oil on panel was knocked down at a mid-estimate SFr65,000 (£59,000).