fine art auctions

Modigliani sketches discovered

Three new Modigliani sketches discovered beneath one of the artist's early  nudes | USA Art News


Three previously unknown sketches by the celebrated Jewish-Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani have been discovered under a painting of his housed in an Israeli museum.

Curators at the University of Haifa’s Hecht Museum found that the works hidden beneath the surface of the artist’s 1908 painting Nude with a Hat while using X-rays to look more closely at a concealed figure revealed in 2010. The figure was first seen on the reverse of the nude, where a portrait of Modigliani’s friend, Maud Abrantés, is depicted. 


ART & ARTISTS: Amedeo Modigliani - part 6


This year, amid attempts to bring that figure into focus, curators noticed two more silhouettes: one of a man and the other of a woman with her hair pulled up in a bun.

 Three new Modigliani sketches discovered beneath one of the artist's early  nudes

 

Inna Berkowits, an art historian at the museum, described the canvas—which now features five Modigliani figures—as “a sketchbook on a canvas” reflecting the artist’s “never-ending search for artistic expression”.

Three new Modigliani sketches discovered beneath one of the artist's early  nudes | USA Art News

The figures represented are atypical from what contemporary viewers may consider an archetypal Modigliani; missing are the elongated necks and ultra-lithe limbs. Instead, they display his earlier, less-developed style—few examples of which in fact survive.

 

 3 Modigliani sketches found under painting at Haifa museum - ISRAEL21c


The work is set to go on view this autumn at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia in the exhibition Modigliani Up Close, for which the forensic analysis was conducted in the first place.

Another example of Modigliani repurposing a canvas was discovered in 2018 at the Tate when the curatorial team in London discovered a portrait of the Bohemian writer and literary critic Beatrice Hastings, who was also the artist’s former muse and lover. While it has been proposed that Modigliani painted over Hastings’s portrait to mark the end of their tumultuous relationship, hypotheses surrounding the Hecht Museum painting’s figures are largely focused on Modigliani’s need to save money on canvas early in his career.


 

download apps