Cariatide by Modigliani, 1913, gouache, watercolour, pencil on paper; 43.1 x 26.4cm
Lot 30
Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920) Cariatide 43.1 x 26.4 cm (17 x 10 3/8 in)
Sold for £423,200 (US$ 664,144) inc. premium

Lot Details
(n/a) Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920)
Cariatide
signed and inscribed lower left 'à Tibaut bien amicalement modigliani'
watercolour and pencil heightened with white on paper laid down on card
43.1 x 26.4 cm (17 x 10 3/8 in)
Executed in 1913

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Anonymous sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 13 February 1932, Lot 93
    Paul Guillaume, Paris
    Private collection, France
    Galeria del Milione, Milan, no. 33.69 (Ambrogio Ceroni) , 1950
    Anonymous sale, Christie’s, London, 16 December 1991, Lot 20
    Private Collection, Belgium



    EXHIBITED:
    Milan, Gruppo l’Altana, 1942
    London, Exhibition of Modern Italian Painting in London, Istituto Nazionale per le Relazioni Culturali con l’Estero, (date unknown)
    Milan, Casa della Cultura, Associazione Fra Gli Amatori e I Cultori delle Arti Figurative Contemporanee, Mostra Amedeo Modigliani, April-May 1946, no. 17.
    Buenos Aires, Esposizione d’Arte Italiana, 1947
    Basel, Fondation Beyerler, Eros in der Kunst der Moderne, 8 October 2006-18 February 2007



    LITERATURE:
    Osvaldo Patani, Amedeo Modigliani, Catalogo Generale, Sculture e Disegni 1909-1914, Milan 1992, no. 143, illustrated p.141
    Christian Parisot, Catalogue Raisonné Amedeo Modigliani, Paris-Rome 2006, volume III, no. 45/13, illustrated p. 90
    Témoignages, Editions Archives Légales, Paris, 1996, illustrated p. 129

    The theme of the caryatid dominated Modigliani’s works in the years between 1910 and 1914. He believed he was first and foremost a sculptor, but failing health forced him to abandon this physically demanding medium in favour of painting and drawing after 1913 – the year this watercolour was made. Nonetheless sculpture remained a fundamental preoccupation with him and his drawings and paintings after 1913 continue to show his obsession with monumental figures and sculptural forms.

    In 1909 Modigliani met Constantin Brancusi through his doctor, the collector Paul Alexandre, and he learned much about stone carving techniques from the Hungarian. He took a studio next door to Brancusi at 54 rue de Montparnasse, and there was considerable cross-fertilization of ideas between the two. Like Brancusi and others in their artistic milieu - Marcoussis, Derain and Vlaminck - Modigliani was strongly influenced by the primitive forms of African sculptures and masks which he would have seen in the museums of Paris and in the collections of his acquaintances. So dominant an influence had African sculpture become in Paris that in 1916 the dealer Paul Guillaume organised an exhibition (in which Modigliani also participated) showing African sculpture alongside works by European artists of the day. Modigliani’s numerous drawings from this period show the influence of the simplified, pared-down features of African sculpture with its exaggerated limbs, geometric facial features and stylised hair.

    Modigliani was a prolific draughtsman; he had studied drawing at the Accademia in Florence and saw his drawings – which he often exhibited – as an end in themselves, saying ‘The art of drawing should not be allowed to die, it would mean the death of art itself’. Consequently his work, even when in oil or watercolour, is underpinned by draughtsmanship which shows efficient, economical use of line and a deep understanding of form and design.

    The drawings and watercolours of caryatids became the chief expression of Modigliani’s unrealised sculptural aspirations, as well as reflecting his interest in non-European art. Franco Russoli, Modigliani Drawings, London, 1969, p. XIV says ‘ caryatids were thus to combine every emotional, symbolic and formal element – to the characteristics deduced from African figures, and those derived from the abstract purism of Brancusi and the volumetric distortions of Nadelman, were to be joined Neo-Gothic decorative rhythm, the sensual grace of ancient Indian sculpture, the massive power of Romanesque synthesis and the Cubists’ dynamic simultaneity of vision. The old and new were to merge in that mythical symbol of beauty’.

Saleroom notices

  • Provenance of this lot should include that this work was with Dickinson, London.
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Similar Items