Friday, 24 November 2017

Amedeo Modigliani - part 1

To coincide with the opening of a major exhibition Amedeo Modigliani's work at Tate Modern, London, I am posting a comprehensive series on his work.



Amedeo Modigliani was born July 12, 1884, in Livorno, Italy. The serious illnesses he suffered during his childhood persisted throughout his life. At age 14, he began to study painting. He first experimented with sculpture during the summer of 1902 and the following year attended the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Venice. Early in 1906, Modigliani went to Paris, where he settled in Montmartre and attended the Académie Colarossi. His early work was influenced by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Théophile Alexandre Steinlen, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. In the fall of 1907, he met his first patron, Dr. Paul Alexandre, who purchased works from him before World War I. Modigliani exhibited in the Salon d’Automne in 1907 and 1912 and in the Salon des Indépendants in 1908, 1910, and 1911. 

In 1909, Modigliani met Constantin Brancusi when both artists were living in Montparnasse. From 1909 to 1914, he concentrated on sculpture, but he also drew and painted to a certain extent. However, the majority of his paintings date from 1916 to 1919. Modigliani’s circle of friends first consisted of Max Jacob, Jacques Lipchitz, and the Portuguese painter Amadeo de Souza Cardoso; later, he associated with Tsugouharu Foujita, Moïse Kisling, Jules Pascin, the Sitwells, Chaim Soutine, and Maurice Utrillo. His dealers were Paul Guillaume (1914–16) and Leopold Zborowski (by 1917). The only solo show given the artist during his lifetime took place at the Galerie Berthe Weill in December 1917. 

In March 1917, Modigliani met Jeanne Hébuterne, who became his companion and model. From March or April 1918 until May 31, 1919, they lived in the south of France, in both Nice and Cagnes. Modigliani died January 24, 1920, in Paris.
biography from Guggenheim Museum, New York



This is part 1 of a 9-part series on the works of Amedeo Modigliani:


1819 Madame Modot
oil on canvas
Private Collection

1899 Brother of the Painter Micheli
Private Collection

1900-20 Head of Anatolia
graphite, pen and brown ink on tan wove paper 31.3 x 23.4 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1905 Bearded Man
brush and ink on paper 42.8 x 26.1 cm
Private Collection

1906-07 Woman's Head with Beauty Spot
oil on canvas 33 x 24 cm
Private Collection

Maude Abrantes. At the time there was gossip that Maude Abrantes was a married American woman who was having an affair with Modigliani. She apparently left France and returned to America pregnant:

1907 Maude Abrantes
oil on canvas
Hecht Museum, Haifa, Israel


Maude Abrantes

1907 Portrait of a Woman
oil on canvas

1907 Woman's Head in Profile
oil on canvas 35.5 x 29.5 cm
Private Collection

1907-08 Nude with Hat
oil on canvas 80.6 x 50.1 cm
Hecht Museum, Haifa, Israel

1907-08c The Jewish Woman
oil on canvas 54.9 x 46 cm
Private Collection

1908 Head of a Young Woman
oil on canvas
Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, France

1908 Seated Nude
oil on canvas 73 x 49.9 cm
Private Collection

1909 Beggar Woman
oil on canvas

1909 Horsewoman
oil on canvas 92 x 65.6 cm
Private Collection

Jean Baptiste Alexandre. Father of Paul Alexandre 
(see below these two paintings):

1909 Jean Alexandre and Seated Nude ( verso )
see details below
1909 Jean Alexandre
oil on canvas 81 x 60 cm
Private Collection

1909 Seated Nude
oil on canvas 81 x 60 cm
Private Collection

Dr Paul Alexandre, Modigliani's first great patron and friend. From 1907 to 1914, the two saw each other almost every day - apart from the periods when Modigliani left Paris to visit his family in Italy. Alexandre bought most of his paintings and squirrelled away every drawing he could lay his hands on. He was a young medical doctor, three years older than Modigliani, and when war broke out he was immediately sent to the front. His demobilisation was delayed at the end of the war so he never saw Modigliani again:


1909c Paul Alexandre
black fabricated chalk on cream wove paper 19.9 x 27 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

Paul Alexandre

1909 Peasant from Livorno
oil on canvas 66 x 52.7 cm
Private Collection

1909 The Cellist
oil on canvas 130 x 80 cm
Private Collection

1909 The Cellist
oil on canvas 130 x 81 cm

1909 Woman in Profile
graphite and watercolour on paper 295 x 25.1 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1909c The Typographer
oil on canvas 54.9 x 46.3 cm
Private Collection

1910 Joseph Levi
oil on canvas 53.7 x 48.7 cm
Private Collection

1910 Portrait of a Young Girl
oil on canvas
Private Collection

1910-11 Head of a Woman
limestone 65.2 x 19 x 24.8 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1910c Standing Nude
graphite on paper 43 x 26 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1911 Head
stone 39.4 x 31.1 x 18.7 cm
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA
© President and Fellows of Harvard College

1911-12 Head
limestone 64.8 x 19.1 x 22.9 cm
Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

1911-12 Head
limestone 65.4 x 17.1 x 21.3 cm
Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota

1911-12 Head
stone 73 cm high
Private Collection


Max Jacob (1876 – 1944) was a French poet, painter, writer and critic, After spending his childhood in Quimper, Brittany, France, he enrolled in the Paris Colonial School, which he left in 1897 for an artistic career. He was one of the first friends Pablo Picasso made in Paris. They met in the summer of 1901, and it was Jacob who helped the young artist learn French. 
Later, on the Boulevard Voltaire, he shared a room with Picasso, who remained a lifelong friend. Jacob introduced him to Guillaume Apollinaire, who in turn introduced Picasso to Georges Braque. He would become close friends with Jean Cocteau, Jean Hugo, Christopher Wood and Amedeo Modigliani:

1911-12 Max Jacob
oil on canvas 92.7 x 60.3 cm
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio

Max Jacob

1911-12 Paul Alexander
oil on canvas
Private Collection

1911-12c Head
limestone 89.2 x 14 x 35.2 cm
Tate, London

1911-13 Caryatid
oil on board 98.1 x 61.8 cm
Aichi Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan

Léopold Zborowski (1889–1932) was a Polish poet, writer and art dealer. He was born in Zalishchyky into a Jewish family. Zborowski and his wife Anna (Hanka Zborowska) were contemporaries with Parisian artists such as Chaim Soutine, André Derain, and Modigliani.  
Léopold Zborowski was Amedeo Modigliani's primary art dealer and friend during the artist's final years, organising his exhibitions and letting the artist use his house as an atelier. He also was the first art dealer of René Iché, Chaim Soutine, Maurice Utrillo, Émile Savitry, Marc Chagall, and André Derain:

1911-20c Léopold Zborowski
oil on canvas 73 x 116.2 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas


Léopold Zborowski

1912 Woman's Head
limestone 68.3 x 15.9 x 24.1 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

1912-14 Caryatid: Rose and Blue
graphite, watercolour with pen and ink, touches of brown crayon on tan wove paper laid down on paper 82.1 x 28.9 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, IL

1913 Big Red Buste ( Leopold II )
oil on canvas

1913 Standing Nude with Garden Background
oil on board 81 x 50 cm
Private Collection

1913 Study of a Head
oil on panel
Private Collection

1913 The Red Bust
oil on canvas 81 x 53.9 cm
Private Collection

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