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How did Modigliani paint?


There are a few things that create his unique personal method.
Forgers didn't know them (and some experts seem to be in the same blind position), so this makes it easy to discover what is good/bad.

Let's go from the invisible to the visible and do a quick and easy analysis to understand it:

1.- Line (using Infrared Images).

2.- Construction (Using X ray).

3.- Color.

4.- Golden measure techniques.

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Note: if you want to know if your aunt or grandpa's painting is a real Modigliani, it's simple:
Fits perfectly with these 4 points + pigments & support (chemical composition) are correct, then yes...

There is no magical wisdom just analytical observation.

1.- Line:

Using Infrared Images we can go back to the first instance of the work, we can see clearly the way that the author started the composition, if he used a previous sketch in pencil, the corrections he made during the process (called "pentimenti") etc. etc.

In Modigliani we see a very clear and simple drawing made generally with a brush in dark color, showing a master hand that applies his own private tricks.

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2.- Construction:

Using X-ray Images we see clearly the way that the author mixed the colors, the presence of metals, changes and specially the brushwork that will later form the color surface.

Sometimes it's not easy to see the brushwork because of the later additions, changes, oxidation, etc.
In Modigliani we see a clear and undoubted brush play.

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3.- Color:

A very limited palette, many times mixed directly on the support.  Reading his brush play has a particular linking with color, he used to do flesh one way and walls in another (brushwork), take a brief look of the general use of the brush:

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.- Golden measure techniques:

I find this so interesting that I will later give it a complete area in the website, for the moment I will recall a few simple images to give an approach and keep it simple.
There are various ways to obtain what is called "golden measure / golden point / golden mean / aurum perspective" etc.
I will show a few of them and the result when applied to the work of a "drunken, stoned, ill, mad, bohemian, passionate" painter...
(this is totally impossible to obtain without a clear, inspired, rigorous, & studied methodical application)

To better understand this issue you can visit this page: http://www.goldennumber.net






Note:

Golden perspective, Fibonacci numbers, etc. have nothing to do with magical wisdom or any similar kind of crap.
References to the use of them by many of the greatest artists in the past can be easily found.

The main issue here is that the use of them as performed by Modigliani makes it totally impossible to paint without being totally aware and in a perfect state of consciousness, it's impossible that someone drunk could keep the correct perspective (and much more using a gestalt brushwork as can be seen in the infrared or x-ray).

I used two works that have been mentioned by critics as examples of his ups and downs, in reality they are examples of how stupid & pretentious these critics can be:

1.- Jean Hébuterne seated :

One critic said that it was a demonstration of Modigliani getting free of his own style by the influence of the french riviera. Blah Blah Blah...

2.- Self portrait:

Another one said that it is a demonstration of how ill Modigliani was when he painted it. Blah Blah Blah.


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