(AFP) – Mar 24, 2008
NEW YORK (AFP) — Christie's auction house is next month to sell a nude portrait of French first lady Carla Bruni, taken more than a decade ago when the now wife of President Nicolas Sarkozy was working as a model.
The gelatin silver print, taken by photographer Michel Comte in 1993, depicts Bruni in a standing pose, apparently in reference to the paintings of French neo-impressionist artist Georges Seurat depicting models.
Christie's defended its decision to put on sale a nude image of a serving first lady, describing Bruni as "one of the most beautiful women in the world."
"It's a work of art. It was shot in 1993 when Miss Bruni was a model and it's a tasteful nude portrait executed by a well known, respectable artist," Milena Sales, spokeswoman from Christie's, told AFP.
"Christie's stands by the works it represents to its clients, it doesn't censor or pass judgement on any content or subject matter. It's a perfectly respectable work of art," she added.
The photograph comes from a collection of photographs that includes works by Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon and Leni Riefenstahl, featuring among other images, nudes of British models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.
It is expected to fetch up to 4,000 dollars when it goes under the hammer on April 10.
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