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Matisse Nude Bronze Sells For Record Auction Price

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"Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV)" by Henri Matisse is on display during a press preview of Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Autumn sale in New York, October 29, 2010. Sotheby's will hold its Impressionist and Modern Art sale on November 3-4, 2010. (Photo EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

“Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV)” by Henri Matisse is on display during a press preview of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Autumn sale in New York, October 29, 2010. Sotheby’s will hold its Impressionist and Modern Art sale on November 3-4, 2010. (Photo EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (AP) — A 6-foot Henri Matisse bronze of a nude woman seen from behind has been sold for over $48 million in New York City, a record auction price for the artist’s work.

Christie’s says “Back IV” was purchased Wednesday by Gagosian Gallery Inc. The price included the buyer’s premium. It had been estimated to bring $25 million to $35 million.

Matisse created a series of four of the bronze reliefs, what some consider his most ambitious sculptural work. He worked on them between 1908 and 1931.

The singular motif of the works is a woman leaning against a wall. She’s seen from behind.

Major museums have complete sets, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Christie’s said it was the first time that one of the colossal bronzes was brought to auction.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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