Cariatide.

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

GENERAL DATA:


TITLES GIVEN:

  1. Cariatide.
DATED:
1913
 
SIZE:
80 x 45.5 cm

CERONI BY MISTAKE: 81 x 45 CM.
 
MEDIUM:
oil on canvas.
 
SIGNED:
-
 
MARKS OR INSCRIPTIONS:
-
 
ACTUAL LOCATION:
PRIVATE COLLECTION ?

 


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

BIBLIOGRAPHY & EXHIBITION HISTORY:



Literature
  1. Ambrogio Ceroni & Leone Piccioni, I Dipinti di Modigliani, Milan, 1970, no. 37, illustrated p. 89; illustrated in colour pl. IV
  2. Thérèse Castieau-Barrielle, La vie et l'oeuvre de Amedeo Modigliani, Paris, 1987, illustrated in colour p. 64
  3. Osvaldo Patani, Amedeo Modigliani. Catalogo generale, dipinti, Milan, 1991, no. 40, illustrated in colour p. 69 (with incorrect provenance)
  4. Modigliani (exhibition catalogue), Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, 2006, fig. 12, illustrated in colour p. 29

Exhibited
  1. Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Collection André Lefèvre, 1964, no. 205
  2. New York, Hirschl and Adler Galleries, Modigliani Retrospective, 1973, no. 67, illustrated in the catalogue
  3. Basel, Galerie Beyeler, Nudes, Nus, Nackte, 1984, no. 51, illustrated in colour in the catalogue (as dating from circa 1912)
  4. Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Modigliani, 1990, no. 29, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  5. Düsseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen & Zurich, Kunsthaus, Amedeo Modigliani: Malerei, Skulpturen,
  6. Zeichnungen, 1991, no. 16, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  7. Tokyo, Musée Tobu; Kyoto, Musée Daimaru; Osaka, Musée Daimaru d'Umeda & Ibaraki, Musée d'Art Moderne, Exposition Amedeo Modigliani au Japon, 1992-93, no. 9, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  8. Lugano, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Amedeo Modigliani, 1999, no. 9, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  9. Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, L'Ecole de Paris 1904-1929, la Part de l'Autre, 2000-01, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  10. Paris, Musée du Luxembourg & Milan, Palazzo Reale, Modigliani. The Melancholy Angel, 2002-03, no. 12, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  11. London, Royal Academy of Arts, Modigliani and His Models, 2006, no. 2, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
  12. Moscow, The State Pushkin Museum of Fine Art, Meeting Modigliani, 2007, no. 16, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

 


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

PROVENANCE & SALES:



Léopold Zborowski, Paris
André Lefèvre, Paris (sale: Palais Galliéra, Paris, 29th November 1966, lot 108)
The Brook Street Gallery, London (from 1968)
Robin D. Judah, London (1970)
Perls Galleries, New York
Private Collection, USA (sale: Sotheby's, New York, 22nd October 1980, lot 64)
Private Collection, New York (purchased at the above sale)
Private Collection, UK (acquired circa 1980)
Acquired from the above in 2007 by the seller at:
Sotheby's, London (Feb 2009).

Sale l09601- lot 11
ESTIMATE gbp: £ 6,000.000 - £ 8,000,000
result: Bought In / unsold

lot notes:

The theme of caryatids preoccupied Modigliani during his early years in Paris, leading up to the First World War. It was his dream to create a great series of stone caryatids, but his feeble health and the high cost of materials limited the scope of his production in this medium, and he only carved two full-length stone caryatides (fig. 1). Instead he turned to a two-dimensional exploration of this theme, executing a large number of drawings and studies, and only a few rare paintings. In fact, Modigliani only painted another five full-figure Caryatids in oil, three of which are in public museums (figs. 2 & 4). It is in the theme of Caryatids that the influence of Modigliani's sculptural work on his paintings and drawings becomes particularly evident. In the present work, this influence is evident in the voluminous quality of the figure's arms and legs.

Werner Schmalenbach, however, challenged the view that sculpture was Modigliani's primary medium, claiming: 'He was a painter in the full sense of the word. Painting was his natural medium [...] Caryatid – in contradiction of the very definition of the word – does not assume the function of supporting an entablature. There is nothing there to support. The relevant posture is nothing but an attitude [...] The motif here is not the act of bearing a load but the rhythm of the parts of the female body, uninfluenced, and certainly uncoerced, by any load whatever. The artist is concerned with clear volumes, and with their rhythmic relationship to each other; he interprets his Caryatid entirely 'abstractly', as a strictly formal, totally static figure' (W. Schmalenbach, Amedeo Modigliani: Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, Munich, 1990, p. 10).

Indeed, in depicting these female nudes, the artist was interested in their formal pictorial qualities, rather than naturalistic representation and anatomical details. He sought to achieve an immediate effect derived from an amalgamation of influences, from figurines from the Ivory Coast (fig. 5) and Khmer sculpture to ancient Egyptian and Greek art. Modigliani arrived in Paris at the time when tribal art was 'discovered' by avant-garde artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck, all of whom were collecting non-Western art, and whose collections of African and Oceanic sculpture Modigliani may have seen. Rather than borrowing directly from any specific objects, Modigliani and his fellow avant-garde artists (fig. 3) were more generally inspired by their formal structures, the seemingly abstract style and quality of immediacy, elements that certainly struck a chord with the Modernist tendencies they were already developing in their own art.

The subject of Caryatids derives from Modigliani's fascination with these nude or partly draped female figures that supported the entablatures of ancient Greek temples. Borrowing the theme from classical antiquity, the artist detached the caryatids from their architectural setting, transforming a decorative device into an autonomous figure. Abandoning the naturalism of the Classical Greek style, Modigliani's static, frontal depiction of the Caryatid is in fact reminiscent of the Kouros and Kore figures of the Archaic Greek period. Modigliani turned away from a more naturalistic manner of his earlier work, and embraced a highly stylised, abstracted approach, focusing his attention on the remarkable details of the women's hair and facial features. Another important source of influence was the sculpture of Constantin Brancusi (fig. 6), whom he met in 1909, and who instilled in Modigliani the principles of direct carving as well as an economy of form. The two artists shared an interest in reducing the human form to the minimal sculptural elements.

Noël Alexandre wrote about the artist's fascination with the theme of caryatids: 'Modigliani was enchanted by these figures – at once real and unreal – whose inflexibility, imposed by their functional role, is relieved by the fantasy of their being atlantes or idealised women. [...] The subtle use of stylization and simplification derived from African masks, tattoos, earrings and necklaces, intensifies the majestic elegance of these beautiful creatures, who epitomize the highly personal devotion that Modigliani showed to women. It was in Paul Alexandre's company that during 1909 and 1910 he discovered not only African art, but also the first casts and fragments of Khmer sculpture which formed the basis of the Indo-Chinese collection at the Trocadéro. He was fascinated by these works, which provided one of the answers to the questions posed by his own aesthetic investigations, and they exercised a clear influence on his art' (N. Alexandre, in Unknown Modigliani: Drawings from the Collection of Paul Alexandre (exhibition catalogue), The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1993, p. 189).

In its early history, the present work belonged to Léopold Zborowski, who became Modigliani's dealer after the end of the artist's relationship with Paul Guillaume. Zborowski, who had arrived in Paris in 1913, was introduced to Modigliani probably in 1915 by Moïse Kisling, who lived in the same building. Although he did not open a gallery until 1926, Zborowski began to deal in art from his apartment, installing Modigliani in one of the rooms and providing him with models and materials. Modigliani executed several portraits of Zborowski and his wife Hanka.

The painting later belonged to the celebrated French collector André Lefèvre, a successful banker who retired at the age of 40 in order to pursue his interest in art. Starting shortly after the First World War, Lefèvre put together one of the most prestigious collections of twentieth century art, including works by Picasso, Braque, Miró, Léger, Gris and many others. After his death, the majority of his collection, including Cariatide, was sold through several public auctions at the Palais Galliéra in Paris between 1964 and 1967, while a number of notable works were donated to the French national museums.


Private collection ?

 


...................................................................................................................................................................................................................
 
More in a future...