SUPPORTS USED BY modigliani

MODIGLIANI PAINTINGS IN CANVAS


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Canvas use in Modigliani is the more regular support (quite obvious)
What is no so usual is the use he did with them...

To understand what I'm talking about lets take a look to measures (down the page) but first some general explanation over his source:
He used to paint in premade canvas and Lefevre & Foinet was the most regular dealer.

Some artist do all the process they buy the fabric and the stretchers, then using nails, hammer and what in fine arts is called
compound primers (in general a mix of bone extracts, white primers etc.) they create their canvas to paint.

Modigliani in his first years used premade canvases in a regular way, of course this is not a law as anything in art is out of "Prussian laws".
We can find some that are out of the normal, like a gross canvas or a reused one, but in general when we go to his last 6-8 years the canvas is mainly with industrial primers..
(But I repeat, not a law...)

In his last years and probably to make it easier for him to move the paintings he started to paint without stretcher.

The explanation is very simple, if you have to take to your Gallerie or courtier a bunch of 15 paintings is much more easier to carry a fat roll of canvases
Than a truck full with 15 paintings that can suffer damage in the move.

We can recognize this paintings with a very simple method:

This painting named "young woman in a sailor blouse" is the perfect example:

Alice amedeo modigliani

I do not pretend to be a smart-ass but really who cares if I am...
lets take a closer look:
black line all over modigliani
There is a black line that marks the 4 borders of the canvas.
Is it just for visual purposes?
NO
And what is that little hole in the corner?

hole in the corner
can we see it on the other 3 corners???
YES
holes in the 4 corners
Why? what for?
The most comfortable way of painting is to get a roll of canvas, now and then you could buy an already primed one.
(Great for those who like to see authenticity in counting the threads of the canvas)
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Then you have the roll in the studio and the stretcher armed so all you have to do is put the stretcher on top of the canvas fabric, mark it with the black paint and cut leaving a few spare centimeters in each side to nail it to the stretcher once painted and dry.
(that will be made in the gallery not in the studio or it will be like to inflate the life jacket inside the plane)

Modigliani liked to nail the fabric on the wall and then to paint, not in an easel, this famous photo of him:

modigliani in his studio
(this image could possible be from 1915-1916)
He is punching to the wall a piece of paper? or canvas? or cardboard?
In this case it looks like paper but there is not an easel in his studio? based on the photos it seems not.
The famous chair is there...

So we have paintings hanging in the wall, we can see "Raymond" dated in 1915 and nearer to us " Beatrice Hastings with hat" dated in 1916
raymond 1904
Raymond is signed and dated
Modigliani / 1915
Beattice Hastings  amedeo modigliani
Beatrice is signed and dated
Modigliani / 1916
Will this image be of the first months of 1916?
1.- Is curious to see the treatment he does with the letters in "Beatrice" very similar to the
Diego Rivera portrait dated by the experts in 1914 and by Diego Rivera (the original Diego, the sitter in 1916)
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Going back to what we were in to:
In the back of Modigliani from the same day we see this image:

smoking a cigarrette and chilling out
other 4 drawings nailed

So Modigliani, nailed to the wall the drawings and the canvas but always?? NO, there is no laws in art
The 2 paintings above have not been nailed in the corners, they are both painted in pre made canvas
(and I would bet that the one in the Barnes Coll. - Beatrice- has another painting underneath)

At this moment of his career Modigliani was very short of money and demand so he had to survive, in later years once Zborowsky filled his
closets with Modigliani's to sell he could afford good canvas and then is the time of the use of the roll of canvas.
I will give a full section to this feature in a future.

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So we have stated a few curious things and then lets go to the measures another interesting point:

This is the French standard sizes for oil paintings canvases:
sizes in CM for standard canvases in France

But in Modigliani everything goes by his rules, even the use of canvases goes with his own method (even when using standard size ones)
Lets see an example based in 1917 the great year of the nudes:
Dr. Deveraigne amedeo modigliani Hanka Zborowska amedeo modigliani Hanka Zborowska amedeo modigliani
1917
Dr. Deveraigne
Size
1917
Hanka Zborowska
1917
Hanka Zborowska
55 x 46 cm 130.2 x 81.3 cm 55 x 38 cm
This would correspond to a
10 F
A canvas made for Figures
This would correspond to a
60 M
A canvas made for Marines
This would correspond to a
10 L
A canvas made for Landscapes
nude amedeo modigliani nude amedeo modigliani nude amedeo modigliani
1917
Nude
1917
The beautiful Roman
1917
Nude
60 x 92 cm 100 x 65 cm 90.5 x 146.4 cm
This would correspond to a
30 M
A canvas made for Marines
This would correspond to a
40 M
A canvas made for Marines
This would correspond to a
80 M
A canvas made for Marines
And in the other years we see the same feature, he used the canvas as he wanted. No rules.
If you apply this feature to other artist you discover that in the same period Picasso used the F for figure, the L for landscape and the M almost null
And it is a common unquestionable knowledge that Picasso was a total outlaw to the rules of the art world...

Maybe we should reconsider if Modigliani was the real outlaw and Picasso the academical guy.
 
In resume

1.- there is no laws in canvas use by Modigliani
2.- we can find all type of canvas, from premade to made by him
3.- we should expect to find sizes uncommon to artist of his time, but common for other Modigliani 's work
4.- Many punched canvases and with black or dark stroke in all borders
5.- Mainly not the quality canvas/stretcher you can find in a Picasso or even a Kisling
6.- And again, this is art, there is no rules...


As I already told in cardboard,
the back of a painting can tell many things, old labels, stamps or inscriptions.
Or even the real support...

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