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Modigliani Painting Sets French Record

November 21, 1987

PARIS (AP) _ Modigliani’s ″La Belle Romaine,″ sold for $7.2 million, a record price for that artist’s work and a record for a painting sold in France at an auction.

A second Modigliani, ″Femme a la Cravate Noir,″ was bought Friday night for nearly $6 million, the second highest price among the 42 paintings and one Rodin sculpture auctioned by the Drouot auction house.

Auction spokeswoman Martine Rateau said ″La Belle Romaine″ set both a record for a Modigliani and for a painting sold in France.

The Georges Renand collection sold for a total of $32 million - $7 million more than the official estimate.

The sale of the collection, which also featured paintings by masters including Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard and Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, was a social event as well as a test of the newly voracious art market, which in New York on Nov. 11 drew $53.9 million for Van Gogh’s ″Iris.″

One-third of the works auctioned went to Japanese buyers, auction officials said.

The identities of the buyers of the two Modiglianis was not made public.

Joel-Marie Millon, top Paris auctioner who conducted the sale, said ″La Belle Romaine,″ a painting of a nude on a divan, was bought by an American.

Two paintings by Vincent Van Gogh were withdrawn from the collection earlier this week - ″Les Toits″ (1882) and ″Paysanne Pres de l’Atre″ (1885). They are being given to the French government.

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