Manuel Giraudier of the action house Gorgeov's called the drawing -- a pastel rendering of a woman's head and shoulders -- "a work of great artistic precision, sweetness, elegance and sensuality." It is referred to as a study, a preliminary work whose elements appear in another artwork.
In this case, the model depicted can be seen in the Modigliani oil painting La Belle Romaine, which was sold at auction in 2010 for $69 million.
Modigliani (1884-1920) painted the work in Paris in 1917. The study was given to a friend of his, Paris poster artist Emilio Vila Gorgoli, who kept it for over 50 years before selling it to a private collector.
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