Columbine in Tutu Holding Fan November 1908
Black crayon, signed, dedicated and dated A Paul Alexandre, Modi 7 Nov 08
31 x 24.3 cms; 12 ¼ x 9 5/8 inches.
Stamped with the Paul Alexandre collection mark.
Provenance: Dr Paul Alexandre, Paris, to whom it was given by Modigliani.
By descent to the present owner.
Reproduced: The Unknown Modigliani, by Noël Alexandre. Full Page 171 [No. 80].
Published by Fonds Mercator, 1993.
The above book, written by Paul Alexandre’s youngest son Noël, is dedicated:
To my friend Richard Nathanson whose enthusiasm and artistic sensibility have encouraged me to publish this account.
Exhibited: Modigliani Drawings from The Collection of Paul Alexandre at;
Venice, Palazzo Grassi, 1993 - 1994.
Tokyo, Ueno Royal Museum,1994.
Bruges, Centro d’Arte San Giovanni, 1994.
Montréal, Museum of Fine Art, 1996.
Rouen, Musée des Beaux Arts, 1996.
Modigliani loved the theatre, wrote Paul Alexandre, which presents life in a way that blends dream and reality. At the theatre it seemed to us that we were living through a waking dream. A whole series of his drawings is inspired by the theatre. In the old ‘Gaîté-Rochechouart’, because of mirrors placed on the side walls, spectators in certain seats [which we always chose] saw the spirited and thrilling image of Miss Lawler. At other times, the stage would seem to be a brilliant rectangle at the end of a long corridor with its four walls blazing with colourful humanity.’
‘The Unknown Modigliani’ by Noël Alexandre
‘The old ‘Gaite-Rochechouart’ in Montmartre, one of their favourite theatres, was very possibly where Modigliani saw this dancer. According to Paul Alexandre, he seldom drew when watching a performance, but would make his drawing later that night. He would have carefully considered this drawing as a souvenir of the performance and their pleasure in visiting the theatre together.
This swiftly executed, impressively assured drawing, is one of five drawings and watercolours of Columbine reproduced in The Unknown Modigliani. The particular expression and twisting body suggest Modigliani may be depicting Columbine’s rejection of Pierrot for Harlequin. Was he also thinking of Toulouse Lautrec’s poster below with its stockinged legs, movement and the expression of the dancer closest to us?
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