• MODIGLIANIRESTELLINI

    The Artist and the Expert

Marc Restellini is probably one of the greatest international experts on the painter Amedeo Modigliani. After years of research into the artist’s work, Modigliani’s œuvre is the core of the preparation of a catalogue raisonné under the supervision of Marc Restellini. This new catalogue raisonné is based on innovative techniques and more than 600 scientific analyses. This space is dedicated to Modigliani’s oeuvre and to the works carried out by the Institut Restellini as part of the Catalogue Raisonné, which is devoted to him.

MODIGLIANI EXPERTISE

Marc Restellini: A Freelance Expert

 

Most experts are gallery directors, or people associated in one way or another with the art market; for example, they receive a commission on the sale of an object. They are thus both judge and jury. Marc Restellini is independent of the art market, his fees being set on the basis of the technique of the work (oil on canvas, drawing with colour, or drawing without colour) and payable, whatever the findings of the expert report, before depositing the work, to the account of the Institut Restellini. Added to this are:

  • a long-term familiarity with the major works of the artist (Netter Collection)
  • direct access to the “primary” archives, those of Roger Dutilleul, Paul Guillaume, Jonas Netter, among others
  • a body of scientific (chemical) analyses of more or less half the painted oeuvre, with the masterpieces acting as a yardstick, and a reference for works recently come to notice, either contested or to be confirmed.

Marc Restellini started to work on Modigliani in the late 1980s, and then from 1997 to January 2015, in collaboration with the Wildenstein Institute, as the author of the Catalogue Raisonné of the paintings and the drawings.

During this work and the many different exhibitions he organized, both in Japan and in Europe, about the École de Paris, and more particularly about Modigliani, he proceeded to make systematic scientific and comparative analyses of the pictures which were then at his disposal. He relies on the corpus for his expert reports.

MODIGLIANI’S ŒUVRE

Oils: only portraits and nudes (except for four landscapes painted in the South of France—more to try out another style than because he liked them, a test that was swiftly abandoned—and possibly a landscape painted in his youth). No still lifes.

Mainly portraits of women and children (two-thirds of the complete œuvre), one-third portraits of men.

WHERE TO SEE MODIGLIANI’S WORKS:

In France:

  • in Paris: essentially at the MNAM (Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Georges Pompidou) and at the Musée de l’Orangerie (Collection Paul Guillaume);
  • Villeneuve d’Ascq, LaM (Lille Métropole): collection Roger Dutilleul;
  • Museums of Troyes, Nancy, Rouen, Grenoble.

Major museums in the world (a non-exhaustive listing):

  • Milan (Pinacoteca di Brera), Rome (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna), Oslo (Nasjonalgalleriet), Berlin (Nationalgalerie);
  • Jerusalem (Israel Museum);
  • New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art), Chicago (Art Institute of Chicago), Dallas Museum of Art, Houston (Museum of Fine Arts), Philadelphia (Barnes Foundation), New Orleans Museum of Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, Washington (Phillips Collection), Toledo Museum of Art…;
  • Buenos Aires (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes);
  • Melbourne (National Gallery of Victoria);
  • Japan (New Otani Art Museum, Ohara Museum of Art, Osaka City Museum of Modern Art)…

On the subject of the exhibition Modigliani, L’Œil intérieur at the LaM in Villeneuve d’Ascq-Lille Métropole (Spring 2016), let us bear in mind that the catalogue deals with:

  • 39 paintings (exhibited)
  • 49 drawings (exhibited)
  • 5 sculptures (exhibited)

In other words, 93 works by Modigliani in all (but without any work from the very large Netter Collection).

To reach the 114 numbers featuring in the catalogue: additional works by Soutine, Brancusi, Kisling, indigenous arts, etc.

In comparison, the Modigliani retrospective, The Melancholy Angel, organized by Marc Restellini at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris in 2002-2003, showed:

  • 102 paintings (exhibited)
  • 41 drawings (exhibited)
  • 1 sculpture

i.e. 144 works by Modigliani in all.

All the artworks have been subject to systematic scientific analyses.

The quality of an exhibition obviously cannot be gauged by the number of works on view, but this example simply demonstrates that Marc Restellini has at his disposal a very large scientific database to back up his expert reports, which make him a quintessential authority.

AMEDEO MODIGLIANI: A LIFE, AN ŒUVRE

Early years

12 July 1884: birth of Amedeo Modigliani, 33 via Roma in Livorno, the fourth and last child of Flaminio Modigliani and Eugénie Garsin, a Sephardic Jewish family.

The year was marked by the family’s bankruptcy.

Powerful influence of his grandfather Isaac, a scholarly man (art, philosophy) until his death in 1894, and of his mother (education, travels and visits to museums).

1895: serious pleurisy.

YOUTHFUL period: few works have been conserved; among them, few whose authenticity has been confirmed.

August 1898: attended drawing classes in the studio of the painter Guglielmo Micheli.

Typhoid fever followed by pulmonary complications.

1899: devoted himself entirely to painting. In the Micheli studio, he struck up a friendship with Oscar Ghiglia.

1900: double pleurisy, first attacks of tuberculosis.

1901: a convalescent journey with his mother: Naples, Capri, Amalfi, Rome, Florence and Venice.

1902: stays in Rome, Florence (Scuola Libera di Nudo), Venice. Dreamt of going to live in Paris.

1903-04: in Venice, he enrolled in the Scuola Libera di Nudo.

1905: death of his uncle Amédée Garsin, who was a loyal financial supporter.

Janvier 1906: his mother helped him (financially) to make his way to Paris, where he arrived early in the year. He enrolled in the Académie Colarossi, on Rue de la Grande Chaumière. Rented a studio near the Bateau-Lavoir, in the Maquis de Montmartre, rue Caulaincourt, where he met Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, André Derain, Diego Rivera, Max Jacob, Lipchitz…

PAUL ALEXANDRE period:

1907: Modigliani moved houses frequently. Met Utrillo, Dr Paul Alexandre (founder of a group of artists on Rue du Delta, close to the Boulevard de Rochechouart: his first patron and collector of a large part of his output until 1914). Separated by the First World War, Modigliani died without ever seeing him again.

Interest in the primitive arts (Palais du Trocadéro [Indochinese Museum and Ethnographic Museum of the Trocadéro], Musée Guimet, section of Asiatic Arts in the Louvre), in Toulouse-Lautrec and in Cézanne (he paid a tribute to the painter at the 1907 Salon d’Automne).

1908: exhibited five works at the Salon des Indépendants. Often to be found in Rue du Delta and with Paul Alexandre’s artist friends (Doucet, Drouard…)

1909: lived for a while at La Ruche and then in the Cité Falguière. Met Brancusi, who advised him to take up sculpture (direct carving).

March-June: stayed in Livorno and worked in nearby Carrara for a few weeks.

September 1909: returned to Paris with the painting Le Mendiant de Livourne [The Beggar of Livorno], acquired by Paul Alexandre. Was keen to carry on sculpting.

1910: exhibited six works at the Salon des Indépendants. Paul Alexandre was the only buyer. Life was miserable and he often moved homes.

Until 1914, his thoughts were focused on his Temple de la volupté project, a set of sculptures.

1911: showed a set of statues and drawings related to sculpture in the studio of the painter Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, on Rue du Colonel Combes.

1912: sculpted more than he painted, showing seven sculptures titled Ensemble décoratif, at the Salon d’Automne. Utterly destitute, he fell ill again. His friends urged him to return to Livorno.

1913: April-June in Livorno. Back in Paris, he started to work on the cycle of Caryatids (inspired drawings and studies for sculptures).

PAUL GUILLAUME period:

1914: he decided to abandon carving (because of his frail health, plus being an art hard to execute and sell).

Became acquainted with Paul Guillaume through Max Jacob. Guillaume became his dealer, until mid-1916: he rented him a studio at No. 13 Rue Ravignan, at the foot of the Bateau-Lavoir.

July 1914: met Beatrice Hastings, an English journalist and poetess. Stormy affair for two years. Many portraits of his ladyfriend.

2 August 1914: declaration of war. Modigliani was declared unfit for service (for health reasons).

1915: many portraits including those of Paul Guillaume, Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Kisling, Henri Laurens, Beatrice Hastings… Thanks to Paul Guillaume, he managed to sell his pictures.

1916: broke up with Beatrice Hastings.

Lyre et Palette exhibition in the studio of the Swiss painter Lejeune in Paris, an avant-garde hub.

LEOPOLD ZBOROWSKI period:

Mid-1916: met Léopold Zborowski, a Polish poet forced to stay in Paris by the war, who became his dealer.

November or December 1916: met Jeanne Hébuterne at the Académie Colarossi where she was a student. She swiftly became his partner.

1917: worked in Zborowski’s home at No. 3 Rue Joseph Bara and handed over the work he produced in exchange for 15 francs a day. Favourite female models: Hanka Zborowska, Léopold Zborowski’s wife, and her friend Lunia Czechowska. Soutine often went to visit him. Kisling lived at the same address.

First series of nudes (professional models).

July: set up home with Jeanne Hébuterne at No.8 Rue de la Grande Chaumière.

3 December: first solo exhibition at the Galerie Berthe Weill, No.50 Rue Taitbout. Public scandal, only two drawings were sold, plus five pictures bought by Berthe Weill.

1918: second series of nudes.

March: His health deteriorated. Zborowski decided to dispatch him to the French Riviera with Jeanne, who was pregnant, accompanied by her mother. On the south coast, they came upon a whole colony of artists fleeing the bombs falling on Paris (Big Bertha).

Various addresses, Cagnes, and then Nice until May 1919.

Southern/ Midi light: a lighter palette, large formats and only four landscapes known to be by him. Also painted a lot of portraits (half- and full-length) of small, humble people from all kinds of social backgrounds.

29 November: birth of little Jeanne, daughter of Jeanne Hébuterne and “father unknown”.

1919: visited Renoir in Cagnes.

31 May: returned to Paris.

July: exhibition in London of French painters, including his own works (Zborowski).

Undertook in writing to marry Jeanne.

15 July: article by Carco in L’Éventail, a Swiss periodical.

His health worsened but he carried on painting those close to him.

Took part in the exhibition Modern French Art in London.

Salon d’Automne: showed four paintings.

1920: His health further worsened.

Painted his self-portrait.

23 January: taken unconscious to the Hôpital de la Charité.

24 January: died in hospital of tubercular meningitis.

26 January: Jeanne Hébuterne, eight months pregnant, jumped to her death from the fifth floor of her parents’ apartment, leaving her daughter Jeanne an orphan.

27 January: Modigliani was buried at the Père-Lachaise cemetery, attended by a cortège of many friends

Jeanne was buried in secret in the Bagneux cemetery – their bodies were reunited ten years later at Père-Lachaise.

11-19 December 1920: retrospective show of his work at the Montaigne gallery

1923: the American collector and philanthropist Albert C. Barnes arrived in Paris and bought more than a hundred Soutine works and ten by Modigliani from Zborowski.

MAJOR EXHIBITIONS HELD IN HIS LIFETIME

1906

Paris, galerie d’Art Laura Wylda

1907

Paris, Atelier d’Amadeo de Souza Cardoso (sculptures and drawings)

Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d’Automne, 1 –22 October 1907 (1 oil and 6 drawings)

1908

Paris, Serres du Cours-la-Reine, 24th exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, 20 March-2 May 1908 (6 paintings)

1910

Paris, Jardin des Tuileries, Serres de l’Orangerie, 26th exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, 25 March-2 May 1910 (6 paintings)

1911

Paris, Atelier d’Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, opening on 5 March 1911 (7 sculptures)

Paris, Quai d’Orsay, Pont de l’Alma, 27th exhibition of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, 21 April-13 June 1911 (5 drawings and 1 sculpture)

1912

Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d’Automne, 1 October-8 November 1912 (7 sculptures, all titled “Tête, ensemble decorative”)

1914

London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Twentieth Century Art: A Review of Modern Movements, 8 May-20 June 1914 (1 sculpture and 1 drawing for a sculpture)

1916

New York, Modern Gallery, Exhibition of Sculpture, 8-22 March 1916 (2 sculptures)

Paris, galerie Georges Bernheim, Exposition de Tableaux, Sculptures, Objets d’Art, offered by the Artists, 10 May-1 June 1916

Zurich (Switzerland), Cabaret Voltaire, June 1916 (2 drawings)

Paris, Salon d’Antin, L’Art moderne en France, 16-31 July 1916 (3 works)

Paris, Atelier Émile Lejeune, Lyre et Palette, 1st exhibition, Kisling, Matisse, Modigliani, Ortiz de Zarate, Picasso, sculptures nègres, 19 November-5 December 1916 (14 oils + drawings)

1917

Paris, galerie Chéron, 1-20 May 1917

► Paris, galerie Berthe Weill, Exposition des Peintures et des dessins de Modigliani, 3-30 December 1917 (32 works, mainly paintings)

1918

Paris, galerie Paul Guillaume, Peintres d’Aujourd’hui, 15-23 December 1918 (4 works)

1919

London, Mansard Gallery, French Art 1914-1919, 9 August-6 September 1919 (50 drawings and 9 oils)

Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d’Automne, 1 November-10 December 1919 (4 oils)

1920

Brussels, Peintres français nouveaux, 1920

Brussels, Salle Eolian, Ceux d’aujourd’hui, 15-31 October 1920 (4 works)

Paris, galerie Devambez, Peinture moderne, 27 January-12 February 1920 (13 oils)

Paris, galerie Berthe Weill, Centième exposition, 14-28 February 1920

Rome, Casa d’Arte italiana, Modigliani, March 1920

Paris, galerie d’Art des Éditions G. Crès, Nus, 16 March-3 April 1920 (1 oil)

Paris, galerie Manzi-Joyant, 17 June-4 July 1920: La Jeune Peinture française + retrospectives of Modigliani and H. Doucet: 15 oils, 13 drawings, 3 sculptures

Paris, retrospective show of Modigliani’s works at the Galerie Montaigne , 11-29 December 1920 (17 paintings and 15 drawings)

MAJOR PUBLIC SALES DURING HIS LIFETIME (H.D. = HÔTEL DROUOT AUCTION HOUSE)

For information:

1 1919 franc = 1,32371 € in 2016

1 1920 franc = 0,94882 € in 2016

1919

Paris, H.D., Eugène Descaves sale, 28 March 1919 (room 11):

  • n° 60: Portrait de femme (580 F)
  • n° 61: Nu (410 F)

1920

Paris, H.D., 6 March 1920 (room 10):

  • n° 94: Femme à la fleur, 55 x 33 cm (560 F)

Paris, H.D., 19 April 1920 (room 7):

  • n° 61: Rêverie, drawing, 43 x 26

Paris, H.D., Louis Libaude sale, 19 May 1920:

  • n° 64: Femme devant la cheminée, oil

Thorkild Henningsen sale, Copenhagen, Dansk Kunsthandel, 20-21 May 1919:

  • n° 22: Alice, oil on canvas

Léon Z[amaron] sale, Paris, H.D., 9 June 1920 (room 11):

  • n° 52: Tête de femme, drawing, 0.35 x 0,26
  • n° 53: Portrait de Madame Cravan, pencil drawing, 0.48 x 0,30
  • n° 54: Tête de femme, oil on canvas, 55 x 39
  • n° 55: Portrait d’une jeune fille, canvas, 0.96 x 0.50
  • n° 56: La Madone, canvas, 96 x 60

Paris, H.D., 21 June 1920 (room 10):

  • n° 60: Portrait de femme, board, 42.5 x 47 (620 F)
  • n° 61: Pierrot
  • n° 62: Portrait d’homme et de femme, pen drawing