CARNET DE DESSINS / deux tetes.


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GENERAL DATA:


TITLES GIVEN:

  1. CARNET DE DESSINS
  2. deux TETEs.
DATED:
1906-1097.
 
SIZE:
6 x 9 1/2 in.
15 x 23.5 cm.
 
MEDIUM:
oil, pencil and traces of candlewax on clothcovered boards.
 
SIGNED:
1 leaf with an inscription by the arTIST.
 
MARKS OR INSCRIPTIONS:
stamped with the collector's mark on the inside cover; annotated by the artist on one folio oblong sketchbook front and back covers: oil, pencil and traces of candlewax on clothcovered boards inside: 50 leaves with 50 drawings (some recto and verso of the same leaf; a few leaves blank) in pencil, black crayon or charcoal on paper; 1 leaf with an inscription by the artist 15 by 23.5cm., 6 by 9½ in.
 
ACTUAL LOCATION:
PRIVATE COLLECTION?

 


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BIBLIOGRAPHY & EXHIBITION HISTORY:



Literature
  1. The Unknown Modigliani, Drawings from the Collection of Paul Alexandre, 1993-96, chapter 2
    dedicated to the present sketchbook, with several folios illustrated (cat nos. 6.1-6.50)
  2. tokyo, modigliani et le primitivisme. the national arts center, (curated by marc restellini and organized by nikkei inc.) 26-march/9 june 2008 (ill in cat. tete de clown as nº 1, deux tetes as nº 2)
  3. osaka, modigliani et le primitivisme. the national museum of art, (curated by marc restellini and organized by nikkei inc.) 1 july/15 sept 2008 (ill in cat. tete de clown as nº 1, deux tetes as nº 2)

Exhibited
  1. Venice, Palazzo Grassi; London,The Royal Academy (and travelling to Cologne, Madrid, New York, Florence,
    Montreal & Rouen), The Unknown Modigliani, Drawings from the Collection of Paul Alexandre, 1993-96, chapter 2 dedicated to the present sketchbook, with several folios illustrated (cat nos. 6.1-6.50)
  2. tokyo, modigliani et le primitivisme. the national arts center, (curated by marc restellini and organized by nikkei inc.) 26-march/9 june 2008 (ill in cat. tete de clown as nº 1, deux tetes as nº 2)
  3. osaka, modigliani et le primitivisme. the national museum of art, (curated by marc restellini and organized by nikkei inc.) 1 july/15 sept 2008 (ill in cat. tete de clown as nº 1, deux tetes as nº 2)

 


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PROVENANCE & SALES:



Dr Paul Alexandre, Paris (acquired from the artist)
Thence by descent to the SELLER AT: 

Sotheby's, London (20 Jun, 2006)

Sale lo6009- Lot 139
Estimate: gbp 200,000 - 300,000
sold for: gbp 232,000
(at time exchange: 428,086 USD)

lot notes:

This unique and rare sketchbook executed between 1906 and 1907 provides a unique insight into the formative years of the young émigré artist in Paris. During this period Modigliani absorbed numerous influences and experimented with various styles in an attempt to find a personal style. In this sketchbook, the influences of Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso are clearly evident, both stylistically and thematically. However, one can already see the emergence of his singular aesthetic especially in his sensuous depictions of nudes in the numerous studies included in the sketchbook.
'The sketchbook itself, like the two covers, was mostly used in portrait format. Thirty-two pages were left blank, perhaps because Modigliani did not want to draw on the back of the best drawings. At the end of the sketchbook, on a page to itself, is the declaration "What I am searching for...". Nine pages are devoted to single drawings or to sketches, and five are studies of heads. Among these there is a self-portrait, in three-quarter face to the left and possibly another, full-face, which shows, in a quick sketch, a striking likeness to the twenty-two year old artist along with his companions.
But most of this sketchbook is devoted to the female nude, and in a simple studio drawing one can already find all the grace and sensitivity that were to become so characteristic of Modigliani's genius. There are several series of up to ten drawings in the same pose, which give an insight into the artist's tenacious way of working and allow one to follow his train of thought' (N. Alexandre, The Unknown Modigliani (exhibition catalogue), op. cit., 1993-96, p. 125).
One of the rarest aspects of this sketchbook is that it includes a written statement which elaborates on Modigliani’s artistic truths:
`Ce que je cherche ce n’est pas le réel pas l’ireel non plus, mais L’inconscient le mystère et l’instinctivité de la race’ (What I am searching for is neither the real nor the unreal, but the subconscious, the mystery of what is instinctive in the human race).
Noël Alexandre explains: ‘The meaning of this private statement, in which he felt the need to express his personal position and to place himself in relation to others, was, we believe, that he was not searching for recognized academicism (the real), nor for revolutionary originality (the unreal), which polarised many of his contemporaries. All his life he pursued a single object: the goal of his relentless search was the human face, the human body, the human figure. What he wanted to find, somewhere in his subconscious and with his creative instinct, was the secret truth of the profound being in which he had the originality to believe’ (ibid, p. 91).
Paul Alexandre, the original owner of this sketchbook, had an underlying admiration for the young Italian artist whom he met in Paris in the Autumn of 1907. He encouraged and supported Modigliani throughout his early years in Paris and their friendship resulted in Alexandre accumulating an unparalleled collection of works from Modigliani’s formative years in Paris.


acquired by european trade
private collection ?

 


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More in a future...