15
15

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Amedeo Modigliani
FILLETTE À LA CHEVELURE
Estimate
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 3,132,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
15

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Amedeo Modigliani
FILLETTE À LA CHEVELURE
Estimate
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 3,132,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Amedeo Modigliani
1884 - 1920
FILLETTE À LA CHEVELURE
Signed Modigliani (lower right)
Oil on paper laid down on cradled panel
16 3/4 by 12 3/4 in.
42.5 by 32.5 cm
Painted in 1915.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Paul Guillaume, Paris

Karl Nathan, New York

Sale: Sotheby’s, London, June 30, 1975, lot 43  

Kurt Adler (and sold: Sotheby’s, London, June 30, 1981, lot 43)

Sale: Sotheby’s, London, June 27, 1989, lot 34

Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Livorno, Villa Maria, Museo Progressivo d'Arte Contemporanea, Modigliani, gli anni della scultura, 1984, no. 30, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Verona, Galleria dello Scudo, Modigliani dipinti e disegni, Incontri italiani 1900-1920, 1985, no. 28, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Verona, Palazzo Forti, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Modigliani a Montparnasse, 1988, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Arthur Pfannstiel, Catalogue présumé, 1929, illustrated p. 8 (titled Tête de femme, with incorrect medium)

Adolphe Basler, Modigliani, Paris, 1931, illustrated pl. 10

Arthur Pfannstiel, Modigliani et son oeuvre. Étude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1956, no. 54 (titled Tête de femme, with incorrect medium)

Ambrogio Ceroni, Amedeo Modigliani, Dessins et Sculptures, avec Suite du Catalogue Raisonné des Peintures, Milan, 1965, no. 165, illustrated n.p. (with incorrect medium)

Leone Piccioni & Ambrogio Ceroni, I dipinti di Modigliani, Milan, 1970, no. 73, illustrated p. 91

Josef Lanthemann, Modigliani, 1884-1920, Catalogue Raisonné, Sa vie, son oeuvre complet, son art, Barcelona, 1970, no. 78, illustrated p. 179

Osvaldo Patani, Amedeo Modigliani, Catalogo generale dipinti, Milan, 1991, no. 75, illustrated in color p. 100 (titled Testa di ragazza dai capelli sciolti)

Sylvie Buisson, Christian Parisot & Massimo Riposati, Modigliani e la spiritualità africana, 2007, Rome, illustrated in color in a photograph of the reconstruction of Paul Guillaume's studio at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, pp. 46-47

Christian Parisot, Modigliani Catalogue Raisonné, Rome, 2012, vol. V, no. 31/1915, illustrated in color n.p.

Catalogue Note

In 1915 Modigliani took up painting again after nearly five years of making sculpture. His return to painting led to the creation of some of the most celebrated portraiture of the early 20th century. Rendered in earthy tones of green and terracotta, Fillette à la chevelure was one of the first paintings he produced after this long hiatus, and it possesses a number of qualities for which Modigliani is best known. The well-rounded, three-dimensional format is strongly reminiscent of his earlier sculptural work, but the sitters barely indicated pupils and neatly delineated nose and lips prefigure the sensuous, refined aesthetic of his final years.

In the paintings of 1915 and 1916, the rich variety of Modigliani’s influences is at their most apparent. Inspired by the art of his native Italy, and by the avant-garde artists in Montparnasse, Modigliani forged a uniquely evocative style which is particularly characteristic of his portraiture. Modigliani’s personal interpretation of African and other non-Western aesthetic sources, was compounded by his understanding of Picasso’s Cubism, which had taken its own impetus from similarly exotic places. Although Modigliani never completely subscribed to the syntax of Cubism, he adopted some of its stylistic devices such as the geometric simplification and break-up of forms, and was close to the sculptors Ossip Zadkine and Jacques Lipchitz, both of whom were strongly influenced by the movement. Even more important perhaps was his relationship with Brancusi, whom he met in 1909. Brancusi not only encouraged him to carve directly in stone, but also gave the most convincing demonstration of how influences from the widest possible range of sources – archaic, Asian and African – could be transformed into a personal idiom of the greatest originality.

Furthermore, it was Modigliani’s brief but significant stint as a sculptor that left an enduring impression on his work. The hieratic qualities of the carved, stone heads, and their indebtedness to primitive artifacts, were ably transferred onto canvas once he had laid down this chisels. Discussing this development, Werner Schmalenbach writes: “The early portraits - those painted in 1915 and 1916, immediately after the sculpture period - are marked by a considerable degree of structuring applied to the human face. They are simplified and are endowed to a greater or lesser degree with articulation and rhythm, by the formal manipulations to which they are subjected. Often this formal process has taken place in the pencil studies that precede the paintings. Characteristic features are asymmetry and, as we have seen, an emphasis on the nose, whether linear or stereometric; closed or hatched-over eyes; and added lettering. The faces threaten to veer out of control, but the cause is never expressive, always formal, and never prevents the emergence of a characteristic and individual expression” (W. Schmalenbach, Amedeo Modigliani. Painting. Sculptures. Drawings (exhibition catalogue), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 1991, p. 31).

The first owner of the present work was Paul Guillaume, the celebrated Parisian dealer and collector. Guillaume was one of the most fascinating figures of the 1910s and 20s, whose eclectic taste and commercial perspicacity led him to become one of the most successful and influential dealers of the early twentieth century. In particular it was his early interest in African sculpture that was to have the greatest impact. Guillaume started out working for a car garage that imported rubber from Africa. One day a shipment of rubber arrived also containing a tribal mask from Gabon. Intrigued, Guillaume sought out similar examples in museums. Encouraged by his friend Apollinaire, Guillaume set himself up as a dealer in art nègre which he imported directly from Africa, and would frequently exchange with artists for their own works. This arrangement would eventually lead to his handling the works of Picasso, Matisse, Braque, Derain, de Chirico and Utrillo. In 1914 he met Modigliani through Max Jacob, becoming his primary dealer for the next few years, as well as one of his most devoted collectors.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York