Roy Lichtenstein's ‘Nurse’ fetches $95m

Record price for piece by American ‘pop art’ painter at New York auction

A new world auction record price for the American "pop art" painter Roy Lichtenstein was achieved at Christie's in New York on Monday when his 1964 painting Nurse – inspired by a comic book image – sold for $95.3 million (€88.3 million).

The auctioneers described Nurse as "a dazzling masterpiece – a celebration of the bold new imagery that changed the direction of art".

It was one of many records broken on a night when a Chinese billionaire paid $170.4 million (€157.8 million) for a painting of a reclining female nude titled Nu Couché by Italian artist Modigliani.

This, also, was a world record at auction for the artist – who died, aged 35, in 1920 – and the second highest-price ever paid for a work of art at auction.

It subsequently emerged that Liu Yiqian, a 51-year-old former taxi driver and self-made billionaire, and his wife Wang Wei had bought the painting for a museum they've set up in Shanghai.

On Tuesday night, also in New York Christie's sold The Brigadier by Lucian Freud – a portrait of Andrew Parker Bowles, a former British army officer and the ex-husband of Camilla Parker Bowles, the woman now married to Prince Charles, for $34.8 million (€32.4 million).