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


PPaintings are the work that gave merit to the name.
Many influences, from Cézanne to old masters and a bit of cubism but in all the works there is always a perfect tuscan line.

To learn and understand the way he painted gives a whole new sense to the word "artist."
All his paintings are based primarily on drawing and line, his curves are answered by other curves perfectly, his brush work always answering a need. There is not a single line out of place.
Use of Golden measure is a constant.


Take one brush stroke out and the composition becomes flat, a master brushstroke is present in all "HIS" works (which makes it  easier to note the fakes.)  He deals and wins perfectly with the medium, what looks like a mistaken tip is in reality a pop up brush to bring something to the viewer.

There are a few things that the forgers didn't know and this can help to discard them:

- he always started with a drawing made with the brush (dark color line).
- Worked the figure at the same time as the background and after that he went into the details.
- Oval of the face is never closed at the chin.
- Eyes are never identical (symmetry).
- Nose is redrawn at the end.
- Size and the area that is used by the subject has its magic trick (golden measure).
- Line divides the face like a drawing from the italian renaissance.

You can contrast here step by step his method

And many more, but especially: the lines are still visible at the end.

If you get the opportunity to see his work in an x ray you discover how incredible and precise was his way of working, and this refutes all the theories of a drunken painter...

In terms of Iconography He was a very simple painter, never painted mythological or situation scenes, his portraits are exactly that, His nudes are nudes and the few landscapes are just landscapes.

All the poetical perfection, human connection, situation in time, etc. comes from the exact position of line and color, and basic brush work.

He didn't need a bunch of angels or a block of prostitutes dismembered to gain his own place in "Parnassus".

I will try not to enter into expert's crap and fake pseudo-metaphorical analysis of brush stroke but leave it as a simple information.



Brief classification of works:
A.- Portraits
B.- Cariatides
C.- Nudes
D.- Landscapes


...................................................................................................................................................................................................................


A.- Portraits:

Usually one subject in some cases 2, he places the subject against an almost blank background marked only by a few lines / blocks of color to enrich the composition and create atmosphere (in 2 or 3 examples we see landscape background as in "La belle epiciere"), at this point his use of golden measures becomes sublime from 1916 to 1920.

The most common position is seated, as in a classical composition remembering great old masters, in some cases you see a chair, in others the wall or the blanked (in white) window and in only a few you see other things like for instance a candle holder, curtains or the headboard of a forged bed.

He is a man with a desire: show to the world what lies inside of the person that the eyes can't see, that is why some of his portraits are hard or even ugly to see (mainly the ones depicting people from the art world and the biz in it.)

One of his greatest goals is quickly seen when we look at the children and some poor people, you see every day people, struggling people but from his view more meritable than kings and queens.

Take a look at the Picasso drawing with the "savoir" text and discover what he really thinks of the Spaniard (In my opinion, You poor pretentious...) or to the ones made of Rivera (I guess that he saw him as a self satisfied gluttonous funny friend).

Some of them present a special talisman or charm like for instance jewelry or a scarf or even a cigarette.

Paintings can be easily identified in 8 types ranging from a simple head to a couple.

1.- Heads

The head and some detail.
Center of composition is the face.
Neck or beginning of the shoulders.
Ends in first sights of chest or bust.

Using Ceroni: 31 works
6 works in profile, 25 frontal.
2.-Bust

Face and bust, chest visible in part.
Details show figure in placement.
Chair, door, window, walls, etc.
Backgrounds sets figure in space.

No hands visible.

Using Ceroni: 55 works
4 works in profile, 51 frontal.

3.- Chest complete

Face and bust - chest visible-.
Details show figure in placement.
Chair, door, window, walls, etc.
Backgrounds sets figure in space.
No hands visible.

Using Ceroni: 61 works
2 works in profile, 59 frontal.

4.-Reaching waist and hip

Reaching the waist.
Details show figure in placement.
Chair, door, window, walls, etc.
Backgrounds sets figure in space.
In some, hands are visible.

Using Ceroni: 25 works
1 work in profile, 24 frontal
(face frontal even if body in profile).

5.-To thighs

Reaching the upper part of thighs.
Details show figure in placement.
Chair, door, window, walls, etc.
Backgrounds sets figure in space.

Using Ceroni: 74 works
4 works in profile, 70 frontal.

6.-Knees or legs visible

Reaching the knees or calf.
Details show figure in placement.
Chair, door, window, walls, etc.

Backgrounds sets figure in space.

Using Ceroni: 49 works
All works are frontal
(face frontal even if body in profile).

7.-Feet visible

Figure standing, feet visible.
Total anomaly  to the rest of work.
The figure against a corner.

Using Ceroni: 2 works
All works are frontal.

8.-Couples

Figures without symmetry.
One higher than the other in vertical.
Both use a half of the canvas.

Using Ceroni: 3 works

All works are frontal.

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................


B.- Cariatides:

They are all from the period of sculpture, they can be seen as sketches or as painted sculptures, if we give credit to some of the biographers he was exhausted from sculpting so this is the way to save all the time that it would have taken him to sculpt them.

I consider them quite annoying in comparison with the rest of his production that presents the inner soul of the portrayed, in the Cariatides you only see the formal aspect, the limit of the form and the representation of a structure, no feelings, just a concept.


9.-Cariatides

Figures are in center of composition.
cold painted sculptures.

Using Ceroni: 8 works
5 full body.
2 to the knees.
1 bust.
All works are frontal.


...................................................................................................................................................................................................................


C.- Nudes:


In his nudes we see carnality at its best. We can find traces of Titian, Botticelli and even Manet or Ingres.
He shows a total talent at a time when the nude was losing all its sexual content to become a mere representation (remember Picasso and his "demoiselles d' Avinyo")

They are probably the most desired production for the museums and wealthy collectors, a small number of really glorious paintings and for commercial purposes, a recognizable work (Iconic).

Since the scandal of Manet's " Déjeuner sur l'Herbe", in my opinion only Modigliani has portrayed the female body in such a sexual glory, beauty and mystery.


10.-Reclining nudes

A total approach in carnality, to sensual nudes of the venetian golden times, but with the model confronting the viewer without any soft iconographies sustention.

Using Ceroni: 22 works
2 in profile (face not body)
2 showing the back (face frontal)
18 full frontal

11.-Seated nudes

A total approach in carnality, to sensual nudes of the venetian golden times, but with the model confronting the viewer without any soft iconographies sustention.

Using Ceroni: 6 works
All frontal

12.-Standing nudes

A total approach in carnality, to sensual nudes of the venetian golden times, but with the model confronting the viewer without any soft iconographies sustention.
Total anomaly compared to the rest of the work.
No feet visible, only to thighs.

Using Ceroni: 2 works
All frontal

...................................................................................................................................................................................................................


D.- Landscapes:


Modigliani, in his mature work, was not interested in natural surroundings or in the effects of light, only in humans so then he painted human structures...
We have samples said to be from his first years, I am not sure about them, so I will just say they don't reflect the maturity of the final artist, They just stay up to the bright examples from the south of France and the Cézanne influence.

All in all, landscapes by Modigliani are just like "having fun with the brushes" (quality and fun of course).


13.-Landscape

Anomaly in his work, the ones fully accepted come from the period of the south of France and they were done probably to survive.
They resemble a mix of the work of the cubist mixed with a 90% of Cézanne.
All show human made structures.
no visible humans or activities.


Using Ceroni: 4 works.
only frozen landscape, no humans visible (only in one presented by parisot named promenade a livourne).

and that's all.
...................................................................................................................................................................................................................