the man his art On the experts Fakes & Forgeries On the market
from Born to Venice Drawings Past experts Myth and reality on his fakes The market
Arrival to Paris Sculpture Catalogues done in the past Famous forgers trust in the market?
Becoming an artist Painting Actual /Living experts known and undoubted fakes Auctions & Modigliani
on the path All the attributed works Catalogues of actual experts how to detect a fake Galleries & Museums
The artist Exhibitions during his lifetime How should an expertise must be done what to do with forgeries and forgers Famous collectors fromt the past to actual times
The myth Exhibitions until today News on the experts Art Historians, a trustable source? News on the market
Selected bibliography on him News on his art References  and Bibliography on the experts references on fakes & forgeries references & links on the market

1906

22 years
Amedeo changes Venice for Paris at the very first of the year, arrives there in January if we give credit to his relatives or in October if we take as good the word of Gino Severini.

He finds accommodation very near Le Madeleine church.

Later he enrolls in the Academie Colarossi (rue de la Grande Chaumière)--it was the modern example for the academies of his time (female students were allowed).

Modigliani arrived in Paris when the city was still the center of the modern world, the last universal exhibit left Paris full of what at that time were the most techy and advanced buildings, it was the place where you had to be to become an artist.

Paris was the center of the cultural world, but Montmartre was another universe.  The romantic idea that the area created attracted many tourists, which meant higher rents, so the old mills and wooden buildings (as when Gaugin or Van Gogh lived there) shared space with cabarets, opium dens & hard nights.

Picasso, Apollinaire, Derain, Dufy, Van Dongen, Braque etc. were among the rest of the villains.

In December he changes his residence for a place very near the Place du Tertre in Montmartre and had his own studio at Place Jean Baptist Climent.

Later or previously, he rents a studio in Rue Caulaincourt, Montmartre just a few steps from the famous Bateau Lavoir in what was then known as the Maquis de Montmartre (the poor area of the impoverished.)

In just 4 months he changes address at least 4 times:
- Hotel du Poirer.
- Hotel du Tertre.
- Bateau lavoir.
- A wooden studio at Place J.B. Clement.

In December he shows 3 paintings at the Laura Wylda Gallery on a corner of the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

The paintings were portraits of very pale women treated in almost a monochromatic style and with varnishes applied to create some sort of style by old masters. The result: no sales...
Later he showed at the Salon des Indépendants but nobody noticed his presence so it was another failure for him.
The first months his social circle is almost dominated by Italians and he is an outsider for the art world, he is looking for a gap to fit into.


Front of the bateau Lavoir in 1907 and back of the building in 1962 previous to the fire that destroyed it in 1970.
Image Source: LINK


Hotel du Poirer
Hotel du Tertre
Place J. B. Clement
Present day images of the ateliers used by Modigliani, thanks to http://chez-edmea.blogspot.com

At some point of the year he gets involved in the art scene and a close friendship with Diego Rivera starts.
The Mexican was a self-satisfied, egocentric, friendly figure who was at that time experiencing a cubist phase and he would probably be a social linker for Modigliani.

All the biographers give a lot of importance to the relationship of the Mexican with Modigliani, but there is not a single mention of  Modigliani in all Diego Rivera´s autobiography.
He also meets Utrillo, Alexandre and Picasso, which will start a hate/admiration relationship.
Gets involved with the Jewish cultural elite of the area: Max Jacob & the sculptor Lipchitz (some biographers date this relation to  1912).

Main relations are with Severini, Meidner, etc.; he shows his interest clearly for Gauguin, Lautrec, Whistler, Matisse and even a young Picasso, but he still finds his main influence in the old primitives of his home land.

He still lives on income from the family.
Some of his first known works from 1906:


Diego Rivera in 1910. Courtesy Cenidiap, Mexico.

  1. Modigliani Amedeo in 1906. Image source: LINK
  2. leaflet of the academy,source: LINK
  3. Academie Colarossi building actually, source own image.
  4. Academie Colarossi in the 20's Image source: LINK

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1907

23 years

AAmedeo changes studio quite often because of his lack of money.  He starts to become famous because of his "elegance" and his way of living, with hard drinking and scandal.

(This may probably be part of the myth, because as a person infected with TB, a minor flu can be a terrible symptom so a hangover can be a perfect way to cover a bad week).

Utrillo became the perfect party fellow, he was a poor man living off his mother's income (Suzanne Valadon, a famous Renoir model & also a painter who had an incredible beauty and personality).

The main influences on his work are now the French--Gauguin, Lautrec and Cezanne with his free use of color that he will discover at the Autumn Salon.  At this salon, Modigliani is invited to exhibit two oils (a portrait of Meidner and a study of a head) and 5 watercolors.

Cezanne's work at the Salon is a complete new discovery for him.  From now on, Modigliani centered Cezanne as his maximum aspiration.

At the end of the year he meets Doctor Paul Alexandre an art amateur who will became his first patron/merchant and collector.
During this time is when the famous Rosalie keep him alive thanks to the free meals.
  1. paul alexandre, Image source: LINK
  2. suzanne valadon at her glory times, Image source: LINK
  3. suzanne valadon, Image source: LINK
  4. Utrillo, valadon in the 20's, image source: link
  5. rosalie, image source: link
  6. rosalia in front of the bistro, image source: link
  7. interior of the bistro, image source: link
  8. the bistro in the 50's, image source: link

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1908

24 years

In March he gets the opportunity to show his work at the Independants Salon, and Alexandre will acquire one, "Jewish Woman."

Modigliani increases his relation with Alexandre and finally he gets into the "Delta" studios.

Delta was more than a place full of ateliers, it was some sort of artists' commune created by the Alexandre brothers.
He is introduced by his friends of the moment Henry Doucet and Maurice Drouard, it is a period of a terrible lack of money and constant ups and downs, very creative in terms of his painting evolution, but hard for him to live through.

The relation with Alexandre is not of total trust for Modigliani, he becomes his patron/ merchant but instead of spreading his work, he seems to collect it just for him.

Modigliani seems to never trust him, he never lived in the Delta, he was a very usual visitor but he never accepted the proposition to live there.


Jewish Woman, 1908.

One of the multiple plays performed inside the Delta, the painting
"Jewish Woman" by Modigliani can be seen at the back Image source: LINK
One of the multiple plays performed inside the Delta, the painting Study for
the Cellist by Modigliani can be seen at the back. Image source. Image source: LINK
Study for the Cellist, 1909


He gets involved in a relationship with Maude Abrantes, an American woman of unknown past who was already married.

There is not really very much data on her and the relationship, only paintings and drawings left.

Some biographers mention that when she returned to America she was pregnant by Modigliani, but in November 1908 she vanished totally from the life of Modigliani and no news about the child is recorded.

Three portraits of Maude from 1908: (at least 2 are undoubted portraits of Maude).

His works start to gain in color probably because he has digested the influence of Cezanne.
The color is not free, it gains space, but the line is the main point.
He paints, but he wants to be a sculptor.


Maude Abrantes

The Delta Villa circa 1913, Image source: LINK

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1909

25 years

Change of studio to "14, cite Falguiere" on the opposite side of Paris across the river, located in a new neighborhood called Montparnasse.

He shares a studio with Brancusi (1876 –1957) a Romanian sculptor who will open for him the view of the sculptor as a complete artist not limited by the bi-dimensional canvas.

It is a year of changes, in the first quarter he is invited to be part of the Futurist Manifest (all his fellow Italians were part at some point of the movement) and said no clearly.   Thus he gained a scathing criticism from all his old friends from his Italian times (including Severini, Balla, Boccioni).

Marinetti who was the "chief" of the movement never forgave Modigliani's refusal to sign the Manifesto.

Even much later after the death of Modigliani when Marinetti was involved in Italian fascism he was one of the main critics of the Livournese.


Image of the studio Cite Falguiere
today, Image Source: LINK


Constantin Brancusi, Source: LINK
The influence of Brancusi is so strong that even when in Livorno for the summer he starts to work on what will be the artworks to be  displayed at the "Salon des Independants"  the following year.

Some critics mention also the influence that Picasso´s work could have had, but Picasso was just another of all the artists of the time that were under the influence of African Art.  It is a very common tendency to place Picasso as the main central figure, but he was only one more.

African Art was just a fashionable discovery of those years.

To say who was the first is like asking a magic crystal ball, there is no need to say who was first or when.
( But a look at the roman marbles that he studied while young and to the many etruscan works can give a clue...)

Anyway it is to be mentioned that while Picasso used the mask as a mask (blocking all the emotions from the subject), Modigliani used the mask as an elongation full of the emotions of the subject.

He returns to Livorno for the summer (June-September) to rest and recover from Paris and his low life...

Modigliani in 1909, Source: LINK

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1910

26 years

This year was a permanent struggle to survive, his lack of money made him change studio at least 5 times.

In this year, Modigliani visited at least 3 times the major exhibition of Cezanne's work hosted by the Bernheim-Jeune gallery.
Even with the lack of materials, food or a roof over his head he is now a man with an objective to become a sculptor, he starts to think and develop his " temple of voluptuousness" (Temple de la Volupte) an idea that will finally never be realized.

In the Salon des Indepéndants of this year six works (no sculpture) by Modigliani receive good critiques from Apollinaire, but no sales at all.

Unfortunately all the historians and biographers center all this year in his drinking, drugs and scandals, mainly because of the lack of data, but it meant a year of change and new perspectives.

In this year he started a relationship with the Russian Anna Ahkmatova (real name Anna Gorenko) wife of a renowned poet, who will become really important the following year.

His empty stomach helped him to develop in this year what will later be a productive period that enables him to be compared to the greatest sculptors of his time, and all done in just 3 years.


modigliani at foujita studio
image Source:

Anna Akhmatova
Image source: LINK

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