woman bust


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GENERAL DATA:


TITLES GIVEN:

  1. Portrait de femme
  2. woman bust
DATED:
paris, 1907
 
SIZE:
18 1/8 x 13 1/8 in. (46.1 x 33.2 cm.)

Ceroni by mistake is: 45,5 x 32,5 cm
 
MEDIUM:
Oil on canvas.
 
SIGNED:
signed and dated 'Modigliani Paris 07' (lower right).
 
MARKS OR INSCRIPTIONS:
-.
 
ACTUAL LOCATION:
PRIVATE COLLECTION ?

 


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BIBLIOGRAPHY & EXHIBITION HISTORY:



Literature
  1. -J. Lanthemann, Modigliani 1884-1920, Catalogue raisonné, Barcelona 1970, no. 11 (illustrated p. 162).
  2. A. Ceroni, I dipinti di Amedeo Modigliani, Milan, 1970, no. 4 (illustrated p. 87).
  3. O. Patani, Amedeo Modigliani, Catalogo generale dipinti, Milan, 1991, no. 8 (illustrated p. 41).

Exhibited
  1. - Frankfurt, Kunstverein, Steinernes Haus, Amedeo Modigliani, June - July 1963, no. 2 (illustrated).

 


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PROVENANCE & SALES:



1963.- T.P. Grange, London.
1989.- Miss D.V. Watson; sale, Sotheby's, London, 29 November, lot 119.
2001- Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 26 June , lot 231.
PRIVATE COLLECTION, sold at:

Christie's, London (June 24, 2010)

Sale No. 7859 - lot 336
Estimate: $220,950 - $294,600 USD
sold for: $612,238 USD

Portrait de femme - oil on canvas - 18 1/8 x 13 1/8 in. (46.1 x 33.2 cm.)

lot notes:

Amedeo Modigliani painted Portrait de femme in 1907, the year after his arrival in Paris. According to Ambrogio Ceroni's catalogue raisonné of Modigliani's paintings, this was the first picture that Modigliani signed and dated during his time in Paris, an important factor in establishing the timeline of the paintings that he created during this early part of his time in the French capital.

While his fellow Italian artist Gino Severini recalled Modigliani creating still life paintings during his early years in Paris, Portrait de femme reveals the extent to which the human figure, and especially the face, was important to him as subject matter. In this work, the viewer is arrested by the cool gaze of the elegant woman shown turning her head. This pose adds a sense of immediacy to the work, as though it were a snap-shot, a fleeting vision of a passing moment. However, Modigliani has granted the figure a sense of volume and stillness that may already reveal his interest in sculpture and even, perhaps, in the work of Paul Cézanne. When Modigliani exhibited some of his works at the Salon d'Automne in 1907, he would have seen the posthumous tribute to the Master of Aix which was held there, a crucial moment for many artists of the time. Modigliani's own participation in that exhibition and his signing of Portrait de femme both reveal the extent to which he was increasingly confident of the importance of his own work.

Soon after his arrival in Paris, Modigliani had come to know many of the figures at the cutting edge of the art scene, including several whose names are still known to this day, not least his friend Pablo Picasso. Portrait de femme reveals the extent to which Modigliani was already releasing himself from notions of academic training, instead creating a picture that is a psychological portrait. At the same time, in its bold use of swathes of colour and the sweeping brushstrokes with which he has captured her face, Portrait de femme prefigures his later innovations. In this sense, it is intriguing to note that one of Modigliani's early friends in Paris was the German painter Ludwig Meidner, whose own later self-portraits, often with the flesh of the face sitting in contrast with the dark background, are so striking. Meidner would later recall that, among the artists whom Modigliani admired during those early days in Paris was the American painter, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, as is evident in the subtle plays of colour and compositional rhythm and harmony seen in Portrait de femme. Meidner would further explain, in an article published in Burlington Magazine in 1943, of Modigliani's works during that time:

'The results, here and there reminiscent of Toulouse-Lautrec or, in their greyish green tonality, of Whistler's work, were entirely different from the paintings of the "Fauves" which could be seen at the two "Indépendents". They had style and, compared with those, they were moderate and cultured in colour as well as in design. To make them appear transparent Modi covered them, when dry, with coloured varnish in such a way that his pictures were ultimately covered with as many as ten layers of varnish: their pellucid, iridescent tone was thus reminiscent of old masters' (L. Meidner, 'The Young Modigliani: Some Memories', pp. 87-91, Burlington Magazine, vol. 82, April 1943).

private collection ?


 


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