PORTRAIT DE PICASSO


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

GENERAL DATA:


TITLES GIVEN:

  1. PORTRAIT DE PICASSO
  2. PORTRAIT D' homme
DATED:
1915
 
SIZE:
17 x 10 1/2 in.
43,2 x 26,7 cm
 
MEDIUM:
Oil on cardboard.
 
SIGNED:
-
 
MARKS OR INSCRIPTIONS:
-.
 
ACTUAL LOCATION:
PRIVATE COLLECTION

 


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

BIBLIOGRAPHY & EXHIBITION HISTORY:



Literature
  1. -

Exhibited
  1. Tokyo, Galerie Tokoro, Modigliani-Utrillo-Kisling, 1980, no. 7, ill.
  2. Livourne, Museo Progressivo d'Art Contemporanea, Modigliani gli anni della scultura, 1984, no. 25, ill. p. 94

 


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

PROVENANCE & SALES:



Frank Burty Haviland
Paris & Céret
Perls Galleries, New York (no. 13850)
Sotheby's New York, 10 may 1995, lot 336)
Private collectION, SOLD AT:

Sotheby's, Paris (02 jul 2008).

Sale PF8008 - lot 11
ESTIMATE 1,100,000-1,300,000 USD
Lot Sold: unsold

PROVENANT D'UNE PRESTIGIEUSE COLLECTION PARTICULIÈRE

This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Amedeo Modigliani being prepared by Marc Restellini under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

lot notes:

On 14th August 1916, Jean Cocteau photographed Modigliani and Picasso in conversation on the terrace of La Rotonde, the artists' café in Montparnasse. Accompanied by the art critic André Salmon, the two men are captured in good spirits, smiling, with their arms in the air. This snapshot and a second, more composed, photo of the two artists posing, highlights the bond that united Modigliani and Picasso. The richness and complexity of this unique relationship is demonstrated not only in their personal rapport, but also, more significantly in the respective work of the two artists, as exemplified by the present portrait.
The two met in 1906, at a time when Picasso's work was at a crucial stage of development and Les Demoiselles d'Avignon of the following year heralded the revolution to come. In 1908, Modigliani visited Picasso's studio which at the time contained many tribal masks and statues, and hoped to enrich his own collection and appreciation of African art. When Picasso returned to Paris in 1913, his preoccupation with the transition into total Cubism brought him closer to Modigliani, who had by then taken up painting, and the following year, as Picasso once again sought to master the portrait post-Cubism, Modigliani was himself reinventing the genre after his first attempts in 1907 and 1911. During the World War I, more than ever, their work bore witness to the similarity and dialogue between the two artists, both nonconscripted foreign nationals living in Paris. From this point of view, "the photographs taken on that day, depicting two great painters whose style and temperament were as different as Modigliani and Picasso chatting on a Montparnasse street-corner, record a unique moment in the friendship that united the artists in 1916, when, flying in the face of the hardship and horror of the war, members of the artistic community came together in demonstrations and exhibitions to support one and other and champion their belief in the importance of art" (in Modigliani, l'ange au visage grave, Paris, Musée du Luxembourg, 2002, p. 80). Thus it was that in December 1915, after an initiative by Amédée Ozenfant, Modigliani and Picasso exhibited at the gallery of Germaine Bongard, Paul Poiret's sister. In July 1916, André Salmon invited them to exhibit at the Salon
d'Antin where Picasso unveiled Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, while Modigliani showed three portraits. As John Richardson has explained, it was during the war years that, following the advice of André Salmon and Max Jacob, "Picasso had come to like Modigliani and his work well enough to acquire a major painting... and to sit to him for a portrait more than once." (John Richardson, A Life of Picasso, 1907-1917, London, 1996, p. 368). The only testimonies that survive of these unique sittings are this painting, another oiL, and two drawings, one housed in Musée Picasso in Antibes and the other published in the Norwegian review Dagbladet on 5th November 1916 on the occasion of an exhibition of French art in Christiana (Oslo). Portrait de Picasso once belonged to Frank-Burty Haviland, the son of the industrialist Charles Haviland and a friend of Picasso. Founder of the Musée d'Art Moderne de Céret, he was a passionate collector who would make his mark on the history of twentieth century taste. Modigliani was captivated by the African artworks in the collections of this refined gentleman, and painted his portrait in 1914. Adolphe Basler, their contemporary, recounts how "He would go to see Frank Burty Haviland, a painter and collector who lived near Picasso on the Rue Schoelcher. Frank lent him paints, brushes and canvases. Modigliani tried to transpose into painting all that he had learned as a sculptor. The difficulties of daily life during the war restricted him to practising a less complicated art than sculpture, one that was less expensive and easier to achieve. It was in Haviland's home that he saw the most beautiful collection of African sculptures. Their charm fascinated him. He could not stop admiring them. He was transfixed by their forms and proportions [...]. Modigliani slowly progressed towards a type of form with elongated lines, tastefully exaggerated
proportions, and details that attest to his admiration for African sculptures. The oval heads, the uniform and geometric noses, transposed from fetishes from Sub-Saharan Africa, immediately give his portraits a very striking look" (in Adolphe Basler, Modigliani, Paris, 1931, pp. 10-11). We see this process in the Portrait de Picasso, whose sculptural character and sophisticated brutality capture the very essence of the influence of African art on twentieth-century painting. The work is thus both a modernist icon and a fitting homage to the tribal art that both the model and the artist so admired.

PRIVATE COLLECTION?

 


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