Blue Caryatid - Recto  c.1911



Blue crayon, 17 ¼ x 10 ½ inches; 43.8 x 26.6 cms                                                                              


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 373  [No. 358]. 

                          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, September 1993 - January 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.



Of the 448 drawings reproduced in The Unknown Modigliani, this is one of only eight female nudes drawn with blue crayon.


Its extreme delicacy and purity of line – the head drawn with slightly increased pressure to make it stand out from the body – likens this drawing to a single, barely audible violin note whose fragility and heightened pitch give it a quietly intense, ethereal beauty.




1912-13     Museum of Modern Art, New York                       




Evident is its relationship to Modigliani’s massive, lyrical Caryatid sculpture above – his only crouching Caryatid sculpture.




                Musee d’Art Moderne, Villeneuve                                                                                                                                  




The oval-shaped face, the expression, rounded body and delicate sensuality of Blue Caryatid anticipates, and remarkably so, this sublime Nude of 1917.



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