Seated Nude - recto c.1907-08
Black crayon; 43 x 27.7 cms; 17 x 10 ¾ inches.
Recto drawing 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, Recto - Page 325 [No. 297].
Verso drawing not reproduced.
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.
Simone Martini was among the early Italian artists who particularly moved Modigliani. And it is fascinating to compare the withdrawn pose and expression of this tentative early ‘Seated Nude’ with that of the Madonna in the Martini painting above which Modigliani would have seen in the Uffizi during his 1902 stay in Florence or earlier. The verso ‘Standing Nude’ has a greater assurance and sense of movement and would have been drawn afterwards.
In 1901, aged seventeen, Modigliani wrote to his artist friend Oscar Ghilia:
………I am also trying to formulate with the greatest lucidity the truths of art and life I have discerned scattered among the beauties of Rome, and as their inner meaning becomes clear to me I shall seek to reveal and to re-arrange their composition, I could almost say metaphysical architecture, in order to create out of it my truth of life, beauty and art’……………
This photograph taken in 1906 after his arrival in Paris also shows a less confident, more reserved Modigliani compared to later photographs where he often has a sometimes defiant expression. Could this have been taken at about the same time as he drew the seated nude, for they have much in common?
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