Standing Woman, Left Breast bared c.1911
Black crayon; 43 x 26.5 cms; 17 x 10 ½ 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. Page 398 [No. 389].
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.
The ballet-like pose of the left arm curved lyrically around the top of the head; also the biblical quality of the figure suggest Modigliani might initially have imagined her resting a vase on her head – perhaps as ‘Rebecca at the Well’. Such a pose would have unbalanced this regal figure and diminished her statuesque grace – hence perhaps the very unusual vase-shape of her torso.
During his formative travels through Italy which preceded his arrival in Paris in the winter of 1906, Modigliani would have seen the above two carvings – 1. The Announcing Virgin, detail, 1370. 2. Jacopo della Quercia Announcing Angel 1421-26. Their portrayal of female grace and divinity would have touched him deeply.
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