Sotheby's /Feb 6, 2013
€84,311.95 - €108,401.07
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Artworks in Arcadja545
Some works of Amedeo ModiglianiExtracted between 545 works in the catalog of Arcadja
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* Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920) Les Damnes pencil on paper laid to card signed Modigliani (lower right) 16 x 9 3/4 inches. Estimate $ 60,000-80,000 Property from the Estate of Pearl Kravit, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Provenance: A Private Collection, possibly acquired from M. Knoedler & Co., New York, New York Maxwell Galleries, San Francisco, California Collection of Jack and Pearl Kravit, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1964 By descent to the present owner Please contact us for a full condition report.
Auction: Christie's -May 8, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 2
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Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) La Juive signed 'modigliani' (upper left) oil on canvas 21 5/8 x 18 1/8 in. (54.9 x 46 cm.) Painted circa 1907-1908 Dr. Paul Alexandre, Paris (acquired from the artist, by February 1913 and at least until 1951). Galerie Schmit, Paris (by 1977). Acquired by the present owners, circa 1989. A. Pfannstiel, L'Art et la vie: Modigliani, Paris, 1929, p. 1 (illustrated, p. 6). R. Franchi, Modigliani, Florence, 1946, p. 43 (illustrated, pl. 1; titled Donna ebrea). J.T. Soby, Modigliani, New York, 1954, p. 13. A. Pfannstiel, Modigliani et son oeuvre: étude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1956, p. 57, no. 2. A. Ceroni, Amedeo Modigliani, peintre, Milan, 1958, p. 41, no. 7 (illustrated in color). C. Roy, Modigliani, Geneva, 1958, p. 131 (illustrated in color, p. 22). A. Werner, Amedeo Modigliani, New York, 1966, p. 68 (illustrated in color, p. 69). P. Sichel, Modigliani: A Biography of Amedeo Modigliani, London, 1967, pp. 146-147. A. Ceroni and L. Piccioni, I dipinti di Modigliani, Milan, 1970, p. 88, no. 9 (illustrated; illustrated again in color, pl. I; titled L'ebrea). J. Lanthemann, Modigliani: Catalogue raisonné, Sa vie, son oeuvre complet, son art, Barcelona, 1970, p. 108, no. 20 (illustrated, p. 165). G. Diehl, Modigliani, Naefels, 1977, pp. 16 and 19 (illustrated in color, p. 9). C. Mann, Modigliani, London, 1980, pp. 45, 48, 51 and 210, no. 22 (illustrated, p. 47). C. Parisot, intro., Jeanne Modigliani Racconta Modigliani, Livorno, 1984, p. 62 (illustrated, p. 61). C. Roy, Modigliani, New York, 1985, p. 154 (illustrated in color, p. 17). T. Castieau-Barrielle, La vie et l'oeuvre de Amedeo Modigliani, Paris, 1987, p. 30 (illustrated in color, p. 31; dated 1907). C. Parisot, Modigliani: Catalogue raisonné, peintures, dessins, aquarelles, Livorno, 1991, vol. II, p. 262, no. 1/1908 (illustrated in color, p. 25). O. Patani, Amedeo Modigliani: Catalogo generale, dipinti, Milan, 1991, p. 46, no. 11 (illustrated in color). N. Alexandre, The Unknown Modigliani: Drawings from the Collection of Paul Alexandre, New York, 1993, pp. 44, 54, and 65 (illustrated in color, p. 44; illustrated again in situ, p. 45; dated 1907). D. Krystof, Amedeo Modigliani: The Poetry of Seeing, Cologne, 2006, p. 10 (illustrated in color). J. Meyers, Modigliani: A Life, Orlando, 2006, pp. 47-48. R. Chiappini, Modigliani, exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, 2006, pp. 26-27 (illustrated in color, p. 27, fig. 7; titled L'ebrea). M. Secrest, Modigliani: A Life, New York, 2011, pp. 123-124. Paris, Salon des Artistes Indépendants, March-May 1908, no. 4325 (titled Portrait). Paris, Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées, Trente ans d'Art Indépendant, 1884-1914, February-March 1926, p. 197, no. 3096. Cleveland Museum of Art and New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Modigliani: Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture, January-June 1951, p. 51 (illustrated, p. 17). Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Cent tableaux de Modigliani, 1958, no. 3 (illustrated). Düsseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and Zurich, Kunsthaus, Amedeo Modigliani: Malerei, Skulpturen, Zeichnungen, January-July 1991, p. 222, no. 13 (illustrated in color). Tokyo, Tobu Museum of Art; Kyoto, Daimaru Museum; Osaka, Daimaru Museum of Umeda and Ibaraki, Museum of Modern Art; Exposition Amedeo Modigliani au Japon, 1992-93, November 1992-March 1993, p. 56, no. 2 (illustrated in color, p. 57). New York, The Jewish Museum; Art Gallery of Ontario and Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection, Modigliani: Beyond the Myth, May 2004-May 2005, pp. 47-48 and 192 (illustrated in color, p. 89, pl. 2). Modigliani painted La Juive very likely in late 1907 and placed it in the 1908 Salon des Indépendants, which opened that year on 30 March. This painting is among the earliest works that Ambrogio Ceroni recorded in his Modigliani catalogue, as no. 7, dating it circa 1908 (op. cit., 1958). There are certainly unknowable gaps in this artist's earliest production, paintings he abandoned or even destroyed, and because he was so utterly obscure at that time, there are some which passed from his hands to unidentified others, perhaps as payment for a favor, only to be cast aside, forgotten and irretrievably lost. La Juive is, however, a most fortunate survivor of this period, and an especially distinctive one for the reason that Modigliani here displayed for the first time the broad spectrum of stylistic inflexions that mark his entry into the modernist milieu of Parisian art, then at a crucial juncture between the passing wave of Fauvism and the emergence of Cubism. La Juive is moreover a storied work, involving an intriguing cast of characters, including Paul Alexandre, a young doctor who became the artist's close friend and first advocate during the early years in Paris, and the painter's sitter, Maud Abrantès, a mysterious American woman who was in all likelihood a lover--of one, the other or perhaps even both men. In these ways La Juive amazingly anticipates both the painter and the man Modigliani would famously become, the peintre maudit whose life, work, loves and untimely death would ultimately be transfigured into the stuff of romance, myth and legend, to a degree unique among the great artists of the 20th century. Having long held the dream that only in Paris might he fulfill his self-appointed destiny as an artist, Modigliani arrived in the French capital from his native Livorno in January 1906. He stayed at first in a hotel near the Madeleine, playing the casual sight-seer and enrolling in the Académie Colarossi, where Whistler and Gauguin once studied. His funds soon ran out, and he desperately needed to make a living from his art. Modigliani moved from Montparnasse to a squalid studio at 7, Place Jean-Baptiste Clément in Montmartre, in a rough neighborhood where many people subsisted from hand to mouth--aspiring poets, artists, simple working people and those who made their livelihood in crime--all existing side by side. Modigliani was a frequent visitor to the nearby Bateau-Lavoir where Picasso, Gris, and their band of typically impoverished fellow Spaniards held ramshackle court, together with Van Dongen, Herbin, the poet-painter Max Jacob and a few writers. Derain lived nearby. While frequenting Frédéric Gérard's fabled tavern, the "Lapin Agile," Modigliani met Utrillo, and became friendly with the German painter Ludwig Meidner, who sat for a portrait (now lost) which Modigliani showed at the 1907 Salon d'Automne. Meidner published an article containing his reminiscences of Modigliani in 1943. The Italian painter was always "lively and enthusiastic, always sparkling, full of imagination, wit and contradictory moods," Meidner wrote. "I was overwhelmed by his open attitude towards everything, in particular whenever he spoke about beauty. Never before had I heard an artist speak with such ardor" ("The Young Modigliani: Some Memories" in Burlington Magazine, vol. 82, no. 481, April 1943, p. 87). Meidner occasionally joined his friend for exhibition-going, and could tell us which painters interested Modigliani at that time. "Among more recent artists Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin fascinated him above all," Meidner wrote. "Of the latter we had just seen the wonderful retrospective exhibition in the Salon d'Automne (1906) which intoxicated us with excitement. But Modi was also interested in Whistler and his delicate tones, although this master's fame was at that time somewhat declining. He further admired Ensor and Munch, who were almost unknown in Paris, and among the young artists we favoured Picasso, Matisse, Rouault and some young Hungarian expressionists who were just coming into fashion" (ibid.). Toulouse-Lautrec and Whistler were in fact the chief influences on Modigliani's work in his earliest Parisian phase, paintings which in Meidner's assessment "had style...they were moderate and cultured in colour as well as design" (ibid., p. 88). These qualities are particularly apparent in a strongly characterful portrait done in 1907 (Ceroni, 1970, no. 5; fig. 1), which features an early appearance by Maud Abrantès in Modigliani's pictures. Little is known about this woman, except that she was a young American from New York, married, and apparently well off; she was a free spirit who loved Paris and especially liked to indulge in la vie bohème. It is not known how Modigliani came to know Maud; the fact that she was Jewish, like Modigliani, may have helped them to connect. She is the subject in six of the first ten paintings recorded in Ceroni's catalogue--nos. 4 (sold Christie's London, 26 June 2001, lot 231), 5 (fig. 1), 6, 7a and b (fig. 2--recto and verso), and the present painting, no. 9. There are also some watercolors: Ceroni (1965), nos. 2 and 3; Patani (1994), no. 8; Alexandre (1993), no. 10; and a drawing: Alexandre, no. 61. Dr. Paul Alexandre in 1907 had recently begun practicing medicine; although his specialty was dermatology, he treated whatever ailments came his way at the Hôpital Lariboisière and a clinic he opened at 62, rue Pigalle, in a poor working class section of Montmartre. He was a passionate devotee of the arts and a collector in various fields. He rented on the cheap from the municipal government a roomy, high-ceilinged but dilapidated building at 7, rue du Delta that had been slated for demolition. He turned it into an artist's colony, giving accommodations to artist-friends who were too hard up to afford decent studio space. One of his house-mates, the sculptor Henri Doucet, knew Modigliani from the "Lapin Agile." Dr. Alexandre, who was three years older than Modigliani, recalled the events that led to his first meeting with the artist: "It was Doucet who first brought [Modigliani] to the Delta. I think it was in November or December 1907... Modigliani told Doucet that he had been thrown out of the small studio he had occupied in place Jean-Baptiste Clément and that he did not know where to go... He was earning nothing, he had exhausted his few resources he had brought from Italy and found himself penniless. Doucet offered to bring him to the Delta where he could stay, if he wanted, and where he could keep his belongings... Modigliani arrived accompanied by a supremely elegant woman, Maud Abrantès, and followed by a car which contained, among other things, The Jewess, his sketchbooks, his books and a few old clothes. He soon became the dominant personality in the group and immediate sympathy bound him to several of the others... For the first time in his life he sold some canvases and gave away a few drawings. He chose to take lodgings in a hotel in the rue Caulaincourt, behind the 'Maquis,' but he came back every day to see me at the Delta as did Maud Abrantès, who enjoyed herself enormously there" (quoted in N. Alexandre, op. cit., pp. 53-54). Modigliani probably painted La Juive in late 1907, discoursing on stylistic elements he had observed at the Salon d'Automne, and certainly by the time he brought it--together with Maud, his sitter--to the Delta. Among the paintings Modigliani sold soon after this occasion was La Juive, which was bought by Dr. Alexandre, for whom it apparently became a prized possession (fig. 3). When Modigliani painted a study and then two versions of Dr. Alexandre's portrait (Ceroni, 1970, nos. 13, 14 [fig. 4] and 15), La Juive appears in the background of each picture, seen over the doctor's shoulder. He also owned the two-sided painting of Maud done in 1908 (fig. 2). Although we know from Dr. Alexandre's reminiscences that Maud was a frequent visitor to the Delta, she otherwise fades from view, and did not appear in another known Modigliani painting. Dr. Alexandre mentioned that a year later she was pregnant and returned to America. He received a post card from her written aboard the steamship "La Lorraine" dated 28 November 1908, one day before her arrival in New York, in which she mused, "Are you still reading Mallarmé? I couldn't tell you how much I miss all those charming evenings we all spent together around your warm fire. Oh, what a wonderful time! Fondest memories from Maud Abrantès" (quoted in ibid., p. 57). Jeffrey Meyers has suggested that "Modi may have been the father of the child" (op. cit., p. 47). Or perhaps Dr. Alexandre could have claimed paternity, and Maud's decision to return to America may have been her way of dealing with the complications of a hopelessly convoluted love triangle. Once she was back in New York, neither man heard from her ever again. One may detect a host of cross-currents in La Juive that carry this picture well beyond the stage to which the influence of Lautrec and Whistler had initially taken Modigliani during 1906 and early 1907. There is the suggestion generally of Van Dongen in the bohemian subject, some touches of Matissean fauvism are seen in the green patches of paint shading her face, and one senses the presence of Cézanne in the subtle tonalities of blue on green--keeping in mind that Modigliani would have seen the posthumous Cézanne memorial retrospective at the 1907 Salon d'Automne, where he had shown his portrait of Meidner. The deliberate thinning of Maud's features (elsewhere she appears to possess a broader visage, with more pronounced cheekbones), together with the prevailing aspect of blue melancholy, betoken Modigliani's interest in Picasso's Blue Period figures. This eclecticism notwithstanding, La Juive contains more of the artist that Modigliani would eventually become than any work he had done previously, and perhaps some time thereafter as well. In contrast to his earlier portrayals of Maud, and in a significant advance beyond them, Modigliani sought in La Juive to use elements of contemporary style to project the interior world of his sitter's emotional being, while situating her within the social context of her time. "The Jewess is all artifice," Tamar Garb has written, "embodying the figure of the 'painted woman' as modern social type while it allegorizes the artifice of painting itself" (exh. cat., op. cit., 2004, pp. 47-48). Having taken this important step into the art of his time, Modigliani had primed himself to apply his talent and skills toward finding and becoming the master of a singular signature style, which would make him the most distinctive and famous portraitist of the century. Modigliani shortly after his arrival in Paris, early 1906. Photograph courtesy Archives of American Art. BARCODE: 28855026 Paul Alexandre's younger brother Jean. BARCODE: 28855019 (fig. 1) Amedeo Modigliani, Femme à l'écharpe bleue, 1907. Formerly in the Collection of Helena Rubinstein, New York. Sold, Christie's, New York, 16 November 1983, lot 334. BARCODE: 28855071 (fig. 2) Amedeo Modigliani, Nu au chapeau (recto); Portrait de Maud Abrantès (verso), 1908. Hecht Museum, University of Haifa. BARCODE: 28855064 (RECTO) AND 28855057 (VERSO) (fig. 3) A soirée at the Delta, February 1913. Left to right: Maurice Drouard, Henri Doucet with his wife, a tailor's dummy, Dr. Paul Alexandre, and Raymonde, Drouard's mistress. La Juive appears on the wall behind them. Photograph in the Alexandre Family collection. BARCODE: 28855040 (fig. 4) Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait de Paul Alexandre, 1909. Private collection. BARCODE: 28855033
Auction: Christie's -Apr 11, 2013 - ParisLot number: 24
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Lot Description Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Portrait de Blaise Cendrars titré 'CENDRARS' (en haut à gauche) et inscrit 'ROSA DI MAGGIO ARTIFICIALE NEL CAFFE TRINA VETRINA BIANCA MEZZANOTTE' (au centre à gauche) mine de plomb sur papier 43.2 x 26.8 cm. (17 x 10½ in.) Exécuté vers 1916-18 Provenance Blaise Cendrars (don de l'artiste, 1918). Puis par descendance au propriétaire actuel. Pre-Lot Text Collection Blaise Cendrars Literature M. Cendrars, Blaise Cendrars, la Vie, le Verbe, l'Écriture, Paris, 2006, pl. 7 (illustré). Exhibited Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d'automne : la grande aventure de Montparnasse, 1912-1932. Hommage aux peintres témoins de leur temps : art contemporain, novembre 1986, p. 17, no. 132. Paris, Espace Electra, Les heures chaudes de Montparnasse, avril-juillet 1995, p. 272 (illustré). Post-Lot Text 'Portrait de Blaise Cendrars'; titled upper left and inscribed center left; pencil on paper; executed circa 1916-18. View Lot Notes › "Il était beau, divinement beau [...] Il était habillé d'une gabardine, cousue main, pincée à la taille, avec le bout des manches allant s'évasant, pour laisser place aux manchettes qui papillonnaient chaque fois qu'il gesticulait. Et il gesticulait beaucoup. Avec ça, il séduisait toutes les femmes qu'il rencontrait. Nous avons bien ri ensemble". C'est par ces mots si vivants que Blaise Cendrars évoque le souvenir de son ami Amedeo Modigliani en 1953, lors d'une exceptionnelle interview télévisée. Les deux jeunes gens se rencontrent et se lient d'une amitié immédiate lors d'un passage de Cendrars à Paris, au cours de l'été 1912. gé de 25 ans, le poète, Frédéric Louis Sauser, de son nom de naissance, vient de publier à Paris Les Pâques, un texte d'une grande modernité qu'il signe, pour la première fois, du pseudonyme Blaise Cendrars, allusion aux braises et aux cendres d'où renaît le phénix. "Modi" vient, quant à lui, de s'installer à Paris au Bateau-Lavoir où il développe son propre style au contact de l'avant-garde du moment, s'inspirant de Toulouse-Lautrec ou de Picasso. Après un séjour à New York de décembre 1911 à juin 1912, Cendrars s'installe à Paris. Lors de l'ouverture de l'exposition de la Section d'Or organisée par Kahnweiler, Cendrars rencontre Fernand Léger qui l'introduit rapidement dans le groupe des artistes d'avant-garde. Créateur de la revue Les Hommes nouveaux, dont le premier numéro est publié cette même année, Cendrars connaît des débuts hésitants mais, bientôt, son souhait le plus cher est exaucé : il est remarqué par Apollinaire. Une lecture des Pâques chez Robert et Sonia Delaunay en présence de l'auteur d'Alcools marque un tournant fondamental dans sa vie d'écrivain, relaté plus tard en ces termes : "Apollinaire avait pâli. Quelque chose de neuf le bouleversait. Il restait muet, à l'écouter. Et tout le monde sentit que le vent du génie passait dans l'atelier:" (R. Goffin cité in M. Cendrars, Blaise Cendras, le Vie, le Verbe, l'Ecriture, Denoël, Paris, 2006, p. 286). Dès ce jour, Blaise Cendrars s'impose progressivement comme l'une des figures majeures de la poésie contemporaine. La guerre marque pour Cendrars une rupture. Engagé pour la France en 1914, il perd son bras droit le 28 septembre 1915 lors de la grande offensive de Champagne. Réformé, traumatisé par cette amputation, Cendrars se reconstruit dans l'écriture. En 1917, de retour à Paris, il entame une période de renouveau créateur. Ses liens avec Modigliani sont alors plus forts que jamais. C'est à cette époque que ce dernier dresse à deux reprises le portrait du poète meurtri, d'abord à la mine de plomb, puis dans une grande composition à l'huile (Collection particulière, Rome; fig. 1). De son côté, Cendrars écrit en hommage à l'uvre de son ami un poème reproduit en ouverture du catalogue de la seule exposition individuelle jamais organisée de son vivant à la Galerie Berthe Weill, en décembre 1917. Le présent portrait de Cendrars, outre le témoignage vibrant de la relation d'amitié et l'admiration mutuelle qu'entretiennent les deux génies, s'inscrit dans une tradition de portraits d'artistes réalisés par des artistes, chère à l'histoire de l'art et à Modigliani en particulier. En effet, les portraits d'artistes comptent parmi les plus importants de sa production. Les peintres Léon Bakst, Moïse Kisling, Chaïm Soutine, Juan Gris et Pablo Picasso, les sculpteurs Oscar Miestchaninoff et Henri Laurens ou encore les poètes Max Jacob et Jean Cocteau sont autant de camarades ayant joué les modèles à la demande du peintre. Une demande qu'il conçoit comme un signe de respect, la reconnaissance chez l'autre d'un génie égal au sien. Le Portrait de Blaise Cendrars, comme certains portraits du marchand Paul Guillaume, évoque les icônes, souvent ornées d'inscriptions. Le nom "Cendrars", écrit en toutes lettres, ne semble pas avoir pour unique but d'identifier le modèle aux yeux du spectateur, mais plutôt de le désigner comme guide, de le révéler comme sacré. La présence d'un pentagramme est également significative et rappelle le symbole sanskrit de la croix apposée près de la signature sur le Portrait de Paul Guillaume, Novo Pilota (Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie; fig. 2). Dans les deux cas, la symbolique est profondément positive, et marque le degré d'élévation spirituelle du modèle. Mais l'étoile, pour Cendrars, c'est aussi et avant tout Orion, une représentation de sa main perdue, à laquelle il dédie un poème. Avec l'étoile, Modigliani rappelle au spectateur attentif le drame qui a frappé l'écrivain, et dont il se relève à peine. "Orion. C'est mon étoile. Elle a la forme d'une main. C'est ma main montée au ciel. Durant toute la guerre je voyais Orion par un créneau. Quand les Zeppelins venaient bombarder Paris ils venaient toujours d'Orion. Aujourd'hui je l'ai au-dessus de ma tête. Le grand mât perce la paume de cette main qui doit souffrir. Comme ma main coupée me fait sourir percée qu'elle est par un dard continuel" (Blaise Cendrars, Au coeur du monde, Paris, 1917). He was handsome, divinely handsome [...] He was wearing a trench coat, hand-stitched, narrow at the waist, with wide ends to the sleeves, to leave room for the cuffs which flapped around whenever he gesticulated. And he gesticulated a lot. That is how he seduced every woman he met. We laughed a lot together." This is the lively description Blaise Cendrars gave of his memories of his friend Amedeo Modigliani in 1953, during a rare television interview. The two young men met and immediately became friends when Cendrars visited Paris in the summer of 1912. Aged 25, the poet, born Frédéric Louis Sauser, had just published in Paris a very modern work called Les Pâques, which he signed, for the first time, with the pseudonym Blaise Cendrars, an allusion to the fire and cinders from which the Phoenix is reborn. "Modi", meanwhile, had recently arrived in Paris and moved into the Bateau-Lavoir, where he developed his own style in contact with the contemporary avant-garde, drawing inspiration from Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso. Following a trip to New York from December 1911 to June 1912, Cendrars moved to Paris. At the opening of the Section d'Or exhibition, organised by Kahnweiler, Cendrars met Fernand Léger who quickly introduced him to the group of avant-garde artists. Cendrars founded the magazine Les Hommes Nouveaux, the first issue of which was published that year, and although it did not find immediate success, he nevertheless achieved his most cherished ambition of being noticed by Apollinaire. A reading of Pâques at the home of by Robert and Sonia Delaunay was attended by the author of Alcools was to be a seminal moment in the writer's life, which he later recalled as follows: "Apollinaire had turned pale. Something new had overwhelmed him. He remained silent, listening. Everyone felt that the wind of genius was sweeping through the studio" (R. Goffn quoted in M. Cendrars, Blaise Cendrars, La Vie, Le Verbe, L'Ecriture, Denoël, Paris, 2006, p. 286). From that day, Blaise Cendrars progressively became established as one of the major figures in contemporary poetry. The war was a turning point for Cendrars. Having been conscripted into the French army in 1914, he lost his right arm on 28 September 1915 during the major Champagne offensive. Discharged but traumatised by the amputation, Cendrars rebuilt his life through writing. In 1917, back in Paris, he entered a period of creative renewal. His friendship with Modigliani was stronger than ever and it is around this time that the painter produced two portraits of the wounded poet, Firstly in pencil, then in a large composition in oil (Private collection, Rome; fig. 1). Cendrars meanwhile wrote a poem paying tribute to his friend's work reproducedin the front of the catalogue for the only one man exhibition organised during his lifetime at the Galerie Berthe Weill, in December 1917. The present portrait of Cendrars, as well as being a vibrant illustration of the friendship and mutual admiration between the two geniuses, stems from the tradition of artist portraits produced by other artists which forms an important part of art history, and in particular with respect to Modigliani. Portraits of fellow artists count among the most important works he produced. The painters Léon Bakst, Moïse Kisling, Chaïm Soutine, Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso, the sculptors Oscar Miestchaninoff and Henri Laurens and the poets Max Jacob and Jean Cocteau all sat as models at the painter's request. Modigliani intended this as a sign of respect, recognition of a genius equal to his own. The Portrait de Blaise Cendrars, recalls certain portraits of the dealer Paul Guillaume which are evocative of icons, not least because of their inscriptions. By writing the name "Cendrars" all in capitals, the artist not only identifies the sitter, but also seems to appoint him as a guide, or to indicate that he has sacred powers. The presence of a pentagram is also significant, recalling the Sanskrit symbol for the cross placed next to the signature in Portrait de Paul Guillaume, Novo Pilota (Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie; fig. 2). In both cases, the symbolism is profoundly positive, highlighting the model's spiritual elevation. But for Cendrars, the star is first and foremost Orion, a representation of his lost hand, to which he dedicated a poem. With the star, Modigliani reminds the attentive viewer of the dramatic event experienced by the writer, which he had barely recovered from. "Orion. This is my star. She has the shape of a hand. It is my hand gone up to heaven. Throughout the war I saw Orion through a lookout position. When the zeppelins came to bomb Paris they always came from Orion. Today she is still above my head. The main mast pierces the palm of that hand which must hurt. Just as my hand which they cut off hurts, pierced as it is by a continual ache" (Blaise Cendrars, Au coeur du monde, Paris, 1917).
Auction: Sotheby's -Feb 6, 2013 - LondonLot number: 310
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LOT 310 PROPERTY FROM THE PAUL ALEXANDRE COLLECTION AMEDEO MODIGLIANI 1884 - 1920 PORTRAIT DE BRANCUSI ASSIS stamped with the collector's mark (towards lower right); inscribed Portrait de Brancusi, sculpteur by Paul Alexandre on the reverse brush and ink on paper 36.6 by 26.4cm., 14 3/8 by 10 3/8 in. Executed in 1908-09.
Auction: Christie's -Feb 6, 2013 - LondonLot number: 16
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Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Jeanne Hébuterne (Au chapeau) signed 'modigliani' (upper right) oil on canvas 36¼ x 21¼ in. (92 x 54 cm.) Painted in 1919 Leopold Zborowski, Paris. Paul Guillaume, Paris, by 1929. Galerie Bignou, Paris. H. Belien, Brussels. M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York. Private collection, United States, by whom acquired from the above in 1955; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 13 May 1997, lot 36. Private collection, United States, by whom acquired at the above sale; sale, Sotheby's, London, 19 June 2006, lot 15. Acquired at the above sale by the present owner. PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED NEW YORK COLLECTION A. Pfannstiel, L'Art et la vie: Modigliani, Paris, 1929, p. 121 (illustrated; dated '1917-18'). A. Basler, Modigliani, Paris, 1931 (illustrated pl. 18; dated '1917'). G. Scheiwiller, Amedeo Modigliani, Milan, 1950 (illustrated pl. 12). G. Jedlicka, Modigliani, Zurich, 1953 (illustrated pl. 46). G. di San Lazzaro, Modigliani, Paris, 1953 (illustrated pl. 44). Y. Taillander, 'Modigliani', in Connaissance des Arts, 15 April 1955, p. 63. A. Pfannsteil, Modigliani et son oeuvre: étude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1956, no. 342, p. 167 (dated '1918-19'). G. Scheiwiller, Modigliani, Zurich, 1958 (illustrated pl. 43). A. Ceroni, Amedeo Modigliani. Dessins et sculptures avec suite du catalogue illustré des peintures, Milan, 1965, no. 220 (illustrated). A. Ceroni & L. Piccioni, I dipinti di Modigliani, Milan, 1970, no. 304 (illustrated p. 103). A. Ceroni & F. Cachin, Tout l'oeuvre peint de Modigliani, Paris, 1972, no. 304 (illustrated p. 103). J. Lanthemann, Modigliani, Catalogue raisonné, Barcelona, 1970, no. 340 (illustrated p. 249). O. Patani, Amedeo Modigliani, Catalogo generale, dipinti, Milan, 1991, no. 315 (illustrated p. 312). C. Parisot, Modigliani, Catalogue raisonné, peintures, dessins, aquarelles, vol. II, Rome, 1991, no. 28/1919, p. 257 (illustrated). Venice, XIII Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'Arte, 1922, no. 3. Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, La Grande peinture contemporaine dans la Collection Paul Guillaume, 1929. Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Art italien contemporain, 1950, no. 70. Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, La femme dans l'art français, March - May 1953, no. 92; this exhibition later travelled to Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum. Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau is one of the celebrated, elegant and lyrical portraits that Amedeo Modigliani created of his eponymous common-law wife, the mother of his daughter. This picture is filled with poise, accentuated by the sinuous curve of Jeanne's neck and the gentle undulation of her body as it meanders its way down the canvas. It is easy to see, looking at her posture, why some of Modigliani's pictures from this late phase in his ultimately short but dramatic and influential career are referred to as 'Mannerist' - certainly, there are hints of Parmagianino and Pontormo here. However, they are mere reverberations: Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau is a strikingly modern work of art, an idealised image of the artist's lover. It is a tribute to the quality of Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau that it was included, only a few years after it was painted, in the small posthumous retrospective of Modigliani's works held at the XIII Biennale in Venice in 1922, the first such show to take place in his home country. Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau has passed through the hands of several important dealers and collectors, beginning with Léopold Zborowski; it subsequently hung in the bedroom in dealer Paul Guillaume's apartment and was included in a 1929 exhibition of his collection. It was later acquired by the Belgian collector Henri Belien, who owned a number of works by Modigliani and other artists of the time. Looking at Modigliani's life and at his work, it becomes immediately apparent that the two were almost diametrically opposed in terms of atmosphere. The serene calm of Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau contrasts dramatically with the legendary tales of drunkenness and bohemianism with which Modigliani is now so often associated. Perhaps his works provided a balance to his turbulent lifestyle. Certainly, looking at Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, there is a near-religious sense of grace instilled in the image of his final great lover. This may reflect Jeanne's role in sometimes - only sometimes - extricating Modigliani from the worst temptations. She provided him with an element of stability and was also sometimes able to nurse him, as he suffered from ever-declining health. For these reasons, she was looked upon with great favour by a number of those surrounding Modigliani, not least Zborowski himself, who hoped, somewhat vainly, that stability would lead to productivity. Instead, Modigliani created relatively few paintings during his short life; their rarity is reflected in the fact that over the past two years, only half a dozen have come to auction. Paul Alexandre, Modigliani's early friend and patron in Paris, said of the artist: 'The true character of Modigliani is found not in all the stories that have been told about him but in his work. Anyone who knows how to look at his portraits of women, of young men, of friends, and all the others, will discover a man of exquisite sensibility, tenderness, pride, passion for truth, purity... Each portrait is the result of deep meditation in front of the sitter... Modigliani never painted without meaning' (P. Alexandre, quoted in M. Restellini, 'Modigliani: Avant-Garde Artist or "Schizophrenic Painter"?', pp. 17-32, Restellini (ed.), Modigliani: The Melancholy Angel, exh.cat., London & Paris, 2002, p. 29). While Alexandre rightly insists that Modigliani should be judged by his pictures, not his reputation and the mythology that grew around him, the two are often inextricable. Nowhere is this more the case than in his ultimately tumultuous relationship with Jeanne, which ended with both their deaths, mere days apart, at the beginning of 1920, the year after Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau was painted. In her biography of her father, Jeanne Modigliani (also known as Giovanna) wrote an account that aimed to banish the myths and traditions that surrounded the artist, whom she had not known as she had been a baby when he died, and included this description of her mother and how she met the famous peintre maudit: 'During the Carnival of 1917, Modigliani met a young student from the Académie Colarossi. Her name was Jeanne Hébuterne, and she was nineteen years old. She lived at 8 bis Rue Amyot, with her father Achille Casimir Hébuterne, an accountant, her mother Eudoxie Anaiis Tellier, and her brother André, a painter. Her father had a square white beard and worked as a cashier in a perfume shop. A passionate student of seventeenth-century literature and an atheist, he suddenly became a Roman Catholic... During the Carnival, Jeanne was at the studio of some friends, where Japanese prints and sketches of ballerinas hung on the wall, and she had dressed herself up in a pair of high boots and a sort of Russian blouse made out of a cover with a hole in the middle. Her high chignon, her bangs, the somewhat languid pose of her hands are the same in a faded photograph as they are in the first portrait of her that Modigliani ever painted. She was small, her hair was chestnut with reddish lights, and against it her complexion was so pale that the contrast made her friends nickname her "Coconut." Mme Roger Wild, who has devoutly kept the only remaining photographs of Jeanne, remembers her as a serious, intelligent girl with a strong personality' (J. Modigliani, Modigliani: Man and Myth, London, 1959, pp. 87-88). These characteristics are clearly to the fore in Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, where the russet hair appears to billow behind her pale head and slender neck. Modigliani's love for Jeanne was an overwhelming force. Within a short time, despite her family's disapproval, the couple were living together in rue de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, subsidised by Zborowski, the Polish poet who had become an art dealer and who would from that point onwards be one of Modigliani's most devoted followers. Towards the end of the First World War, they decamped to the South of France. Over the next few years, the couple would spend a great deal of their lives in Nice and its surroundings; Modigliani's palette would become increasingly luminous, in parallel to the development of his friend Chaïm Soutine. The dark interiors of his earlier portraits evolved into the increasingly pastel-like shades of works such as Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau with its turquoise-like background; this throws the dark dress and hat into bolder relief while also adding a rich luminosity to the skin tones. The influence of the South of France, of the warmth and the light and also, in 1918, the peace away from the random threat of death posed by Big Bertha, the cannon able to rain destruction on Paris from a distance of 100 kilometres, had all suffused Modigliani's works. So too did the subsequent birth of his daughter, also named Jeanne. Modigliani spent the beginning of 1919 still in the South; during this time, Jeanne became pregnant again. Around half way through the year, they both separately headed back to Paris. Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau may have been painted either there or in the South. What appears to be a door in the background accords with some of the portraits which appear to have been created in the capital during that period as well as some pictures of Jeanne in profile believed to have been painted the previous year in Nice. Looking at Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, the sense of salvation that Jeanne embodied in Modigliani's pictures and in his life alike is poetically captured, not least in the hieratic gesture that she appears to be making, which likens her to a Mannerist Madonna. The raised hand recalls some images of Leda being confronted by Zeus in the form of a swan, fending off that amorous force of nature, while also infusing the picture with a singular sense of stillness that echoes the Buddhist artworks that so enchanted Modigliani. There is a mystery to this picture: the hand appears raised not in supplication or to ward anyone off, as it faces a different direction from her direct gaze, but instead is an enigmatic gesture, almost religious. At the same time, it leads the eye while also making the composition more dynamic: in a number of the pictures of Jeanne from this period, Modigliani would depict her in poses that allowed him to accentuate their sinuosity. This is the case, for instance, in the picture of Jeanne on a chair, her arm leaning on its back, in the Norton Simon Collection, Pasadena, or another featuring a similar pose showing her in a loose frock-like blouse that is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Modigliani used portraiture, especially of those in his immediate circle, as a means to explore an idealised aspect of humanity, an image of internal as well as external likeness. This is clearly the case in Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau: while the hat and dress that Jeanne are wearing hint at the fashion of the day, the overall effect is one of timelessness. Jeanne has served as the Muse for an insightful and lyrical exploration of the human spirit, created using an incredibly subtle blending of colours that radiate a sense of health. Modigliani explained that, 'To do any work, I must have a living person... I must be able to see him opposite me (Modigliani, quoted in J. Modigliani, Modigliani: Man and Myth, London, 1959, p. 82). That physical presence is palpable in Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, as is the relationship between sitter and artist. At the same time, while Jeanne is instantly recognisable in this work, she has been depicted in a manner that approaches a serene universality. In this way, Modigliani was continuing the investigations that had occupied him during his short-lived career as a sculptor. Having worked for some time under the guidance of the legendary Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, Modigliani created a number of stone heads that were elongated and inscrutable, that had a totemic visual power and a pared-back sense of refinement that is echoed in his later paintings such as Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau. It was with some reluctance that Modigliani had been forced to abandon sculpture as a medium, as it aggravated his already compromised health. And so he turned instead to painting, imbuing his pictures with the sculptural quality that is so evident here in the deftly-modelled neck and head in particular. Modigliani had broken with Brancusi in part because of the latter's interest in a sheer, perfect surface rather than the more expressive marks that the younger artist preferred. This translates into his pictures in the dappled marks that compose so much of the picture. Nonetheless, some of Brancusi's incredibly rigorous concentration on the essential is echoed in the head and neck in particular in Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, which recall, say, the Romanian artist's portrait busts of Mlle Pogany. Modigliani was using a similar pictorial language in order to capture the essence both of his subject and of humanity itself. This search for an underlying dignity in human nature itself goes some way to explaining why few works other than portraits and nudes by Modigliani were created, an extremely rare exception being four landscapes from around this time. It was at this time that Modigliani's works were beginning to garner increasing attention amongst the critics and the press. While never the most business-minded, Zborowski, the first owner of Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau, nonetheless had helped to increase Modigliani's status and reputation. At various times, he would give his money, his living space and even, as a model, his wife to Modigliani to maintain the momentum of his career. Zborowski also managed to organise Modigliani's first exhibition, held in 1917 at the Galerie Berthe Weill, a show which caused a scandal as the nude visible in the street resulted in complaints to the authorities and a visit from the police. Zborowski engineered Modigliani's participation in various other exhibitions, helping to cement the reputation that he already enjoyed in the cafés of Montparnasse, where his drawings were often exchanged for goods and more importantly drinks. Crucially, in 1919 Modigliani enjoyed favourable sales and reviews when his works were shown in London in an exhibition of modern French art shown at the Mansard Gallery. His reputation was on the ascendant, yet his health was deteriorating, hence another journey to the South of France with Jeanne, who was soon pregnant with what would have been their second child. The tone of Modigliani's letters was increasingly optimistic, as he discussed a possible return to his homeland, Italy. However, it was not to be: after he had gone back to Paris, he continued painting, but was weakened and ill and died at the end of January 1920, just as he was on the brink of escaping the squalor that has since become such a legendary part of his life. Jeanne followed him in death only a couple of days afterwards, unable to live without him. Modigliani was becoming increasingly accepted as a pioneer, one of the pathfinding figures in the world of modern art, when he died, and this legacy continued to grow apace. In 1922, at the Venice Biennale, Modigliani was commemorated in his homeland for the first time with a small exhibition dedicated to him which featured Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau. This showcase of modern art placed Modigliani on a par with many other significant figures of the avant garde at the time. Zborowski was still poor when Modigliani died, but his fortunes suddenly changed due to the patronage of Dr Albert C. Barnes, who purchased a catalogue of works by Soutine as well as various other artists' works. 'Zbo' did not live a great deal of time after this success, himself succumbing to ill health. It may have been at the posthumous sale of his works that Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau entered Guillaume's collection. Certainly, it was there in time for the 1929 exhibition of his collection, where it hung alongside works by André Derain, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and others; many of these are now in the Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris, which houses many of the works he acquired during his life. In photographs of his home at 20, avenue de Massine in Paris, where he had moved in 1928, Jeanne Hébuterne au chapeau is shown hanging on the walls of the bedroom alongside another of Modigliani's portraits of Jeanne. Guillaume had known Modigliani for several years by the time he met Zborowski. His entrance into the art world had been driven by chance: coming from modest means, while working in a garage, he had come across a group of African sculptures in a shipment of rubber and placed them in the window, fascinated by the impression they created. This in turn grabbed the attention of Guillaume Apollinaire, who became his guide into the wider world of art, where Guillaume found himself entranced by the avant garde. Guillaume's own homes, for instance his small apartment on Avenue de Villiers, sometimes doubled as his gallery, and Modigliani himself was photographed there surrounded by some of his own pictures as well as those by other artists; it was also Guillaume who introduced Barnes to Zborowski. Both dealers featured in a number of Modigliani's portraits; in one from 1915 showing Guillaume which is now in the Orangerie, Modigliani has inscribed the words NOVO PILOTA, an indication of his belief in the dealer's trailblazing role in the avant garde and a foreshadowing of his own importance in the history of art.