Female Head [recto] c.1909

Reclining Nude [verso]  – visible in the above drawing.



Black crayon; 20 x 30.1 cms; 7 7/8 x 11 ¾ 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, Noël Alexandre, Recto -  Full Page 411  [No. 405] 

                          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, September 1993 - January 1994.

                         London,    Royal Academy, London January - April 1994

                         Tokyo,      Ueno Royal Museum, October - December 1994.

                         Montréal,  Museum of Fine Art, February - April 1996.  

                         Rouen,      Musée des Beaux Arts, July - October 1996.

                         St Tropez, Musée L’Annonciade, Modigliani, July - October 2010.



The melancholy, downward gaze of this head recalls Modigliani’s ‘The Beggar Woman’ [below] painted the same year. This moving painting, as with other major paintings of 1909, was influenced by Cezanne in colour, mood and structure.  The great beauty, intense personal objectivity [later termed ‘Cubism’] and humanity of Cezanne’s art made a deep impression on Modigliani.


Brancusi met Modigliani in 1908 and encouraged him to pursue his sculpture. Brancusi’s ‘Sleeping Muse’ [below] was made the year this was drawn; and it is interesting to consider the link between the two works.






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