Quentin Tarantino nearly destroyed a $1 million James Rosenquist painting.

The 'Inglourious Basterds' director, who is well known for his raucous antics, was forced to apologise when he accidentally leant on the artwork while talking to film producer Harvey Weinstein, coming close to damaging the canvas.

An onlooker told the New York Post newspaper: "The painting has pride of place in the hall way. Tarantino was chatting away to Harvey and casually leaned back on the painting... Everyone was terrified he'd rip it. Quentin was very apologetic."

The party, which was held to honour Quentin and fellow Oscar nominee Christoph Waltz, took place at the New York townhouse of art dealer Nathan Bernstein.

Guests at the event included 'Desperate Housewives' actor Kyle MacLachlan, Hollywood legend Joan Collins and Warner Music CEO Lyor Cohen.

Quentin, who has previously picked up an Oscar for Best Writing for 'Pulp Fiction', is this year nominated for Academy Awards for both Best Writing and Best Achievement in Directing for 'Inglourious Basterds.'

Diane Kruger, who stars in the war thriller, recently admitted she had to push for her role in the film.

She said: "Quentin saw everyone in Germany and finally agreed he would see me - but only in Germany. I had to fly myself from New York to Germany. I knew I had one shot at this. I met Quentin and was so stressed out. I walked in, it was just him and me. I had learned the script to perfection."