Amedeo Modigliani (1884 - 1920)
Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was an Italian Jewish artist who spent most of his career in Paris. He is considered one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century and of all time.
Each year, he is among the top-selling artists (as noted on the Louise Blouin Art Sales Index). His portraits combine a range of influences including African masks, Cycladic sculpture, and Medieval art, as well as Gauguin, Cézanne and Cubism. His portraits of women are sublime; those of children are charmingly poignant.
His nudes tie him into a long artistic tradition and are both provocative and highly coveted. All of the artist's works convey an appealing, soulful and spiritual quality. Modigliani, Picasso and Matisse were the only artists of their generation who were accomplished in three media: painting, sculpture and drawing.
July 12: Amedeo Clemente Modigliani is born in the large, cosmopolitan town of Livorno, Italy, near Pisa.
Early: Modigliani arrives in Paris, staying initially at a hotel near the Madeleine.
Rents a studio on rue Caulaincourt in Montmartre.
Other early addresses in Paris include the Hôtel du Poirier, the Hôtel du Tertre and the Bâteau Lavoir--the famous artists' residence, where such notables as Kees van Dongen, Juan Gris, Fernande Olivier and Pablo Picasso lived.
Also rents a shed built of tile and wood at 7, place Jean-Baptiste Clément, a few yards away from the Bâteau Lavoir.
Fall: Meets the German Expressionist painter Ludwig Meidner.
October-November: Sees the Paul Gauguin retrospective at the Salon d'Automne with Meidner.
December: Meets the artist Gino Severini.
Meets critic and dealer Adolphe Basler.
Meets writer Blaise Cendrars.
Picasso paints Les Demoiselles d'Avignon at the Bateau Lavoir. Modigliani probably sees it in Picasso's studio.
Picasso and poet Guillaume Apollinaire are close friends; Modigliani most likely meets Apollinaire at this time.
October 1-22: Exhibits in the Salon d'Automne, where there is a Paul Cézanne retrospective. Modigliani's address in the catalogue is listed as 7, place Jean-Baptiste Clément.
November-December: Meets collector Dr. Paul Alexandre, who will become his patron. Remains in close contact with Alexandre until the beginning of World War 1.
December: Enrolls as a Sociétaire des Artistes Indépendants. Address given as 7, place Jean-Baptise Clément.
Spends time working at 7, rue du Delta, a run-down house in the ninth arrondissement owned by Paul Alexandre and his brother, Jean, who rent out living quarters and studio spaces to artists. Modigliani appears only to have worked there.
Sculptor Constantin Brancusi moves to Montparnasse from the first arrondissement.
Paul Alexandre introduces Brancusi to Modigliani.
March 20-May 7: Exhibits six works at the Salon des Indépendants. The catalogue lists his address as 7, Place Jean-Baptiste Clément, Paris 18e. Apollinaire gives poetry readings as part of the Society's "Après-Midi des Poètes."
Modigliani is mentioned by famous critic Louis Vauxcelles in the newspaper Gil Blas.
November 21: Banquet in Picasso's studio at the Bâteau Lavoir in honor of painter Henri Rousseau. Modigliani may have attended; he knew both Picasso and Rousseau.
March 25: Visits preview of the Salon des Indépendants.
April: Receipt for rent shows him to be living at 14, Cité Falguière, a group of artists' studios in Montparnasse.
April 26-May 8: Elie Nadelman has a solo exhibition at the Galerie E. Druet. Modigliani most likely sees this exhibition.
Meets the precocious twenty-three-year-old art dealer Paul Guillaume through Jacob.
Guillaume begins to purchase Modigliani's work and encourages him to return to painting.
Attends Marie Vassilieff's annual party with Apollinaire.
Visits the Café de la Rotonde every day, and Chez Rosalie every evening.
Meets English painter Nina Hamnett at Chez Rosalie, upon her arrival in February.
Hamnett is in close contact with Modigliani, who was living on the boulevard Raspail, and purchases his drawings--for five francs or less--whenever she can.
Hamnett introduces Modigliani to poet Beatrice Hastings.
Hastings and Modigliani become romantically involved.
Wyndham Lewis visits from London to arrange for the publication of his Vorticist magazine Blast (Paris).
August: Hamnett returns to England upon the outbreak of war.
May 8-June 20: Exhibits two works at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in an exhibition called Twentieth-Century Art: A Review of Modern Movements. Modigliani's works are seen in the 'Jewish Section', along with art by David Bomberg, Horace Brodsky, Mark Gertler, Nadelman, and Jules Pascin. The exhibition also includes work by Vanessa Bell, Epstein, Roger Fry, Gaudier-Brzeska, Duncan Grant, Lewis, Paul Nash, R.W. Nevinson, Lucien Pissarro, Walter Sickert, and Stanley Spencer.
June: Art dealer Léopold Zborowski moves to Paris from Krakow.
June 20: Gaudier-Brzeska mentions Modigliani in the Vorticist journal Blast.
July 9: Beatrice Hastings mentions Modigliani in the New Age, a London periodical for which she was writing.
July 16: Beatrice Hastings mentions Modigliani in the New Age.
August 9: Modigliani is mentioned in a New York Times article on Vorticism.
August 20: Two of Modigliani's sculptures were reproduced in the Barcelona periodical Revista Nova (the sculptures are now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Kunsthalle Karslruhe).
August or October: André Level begins collecting Modigliani's work: pays between fifteen and sixty francs per piece. Georges Menier, M. Parent, Poiret and various Scandinavians also begin to collect Modigliani's work.
Resides with Hastings at 13, rue Norvins, in a little house in Montmartre.
February: Vassilieff's canteen opens at 21, avenue du Maine, where Modigliani becomes a regular.
March 25: Arvid Fougsted creates a drawing of Vassilieff's canteen, which includes a depiction of Modigliani.
September: Creates a series of drawings and paintings of Guillaume.
November 2: Using Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet, Guillaume sends various works to Marius de Zayas at the Modern Gallery, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York. The shipment includes African sculptures and twenty-four works by Modigliani: twenty drawings (fifteen francs each); a pastel (twenty-five francs); a painting (fifty francs); and two "original stone sculptures" (200 francs each). The African pieces range in price from seventy-five to 450 francs.
November 9: Resides at 13, place Emile Goudeau (the Bateau Lavoir); rented for him by Guillaume.
Writes to his mother that his paintings are selling.
December: Article La Vie Artistique is published in French in the New York avant-garde periodical 291 and mentions Modigliani.
Ezra Pounds' Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir is published in New York and London, and reprints Gaudier's article The Vortex, which mentions Modigliani.
Moise Kisling introduces Modigliani to Zborowski, who becomes Modigliani's dealer.
Modigliani introduces Soutine to Zborowski.
Modigliani paints a double portrait of Lipchitz and his new bride.
January 15-February 1: Visits Severini's solo exhibition, 1st Futurist Exhibit of the Plastic Arts of the War and Other Previous Works, at the Galerie Boutet de Monvel, 18, rue Tronchet. Serge Ferat, André Lhôte, Lipchitz, Metzinger, Baroness d'Oettingen, Picasso, and Léopold Survage also visit the exhibition.
February: Article by Jacob, La Vie Artistique is published in French in the New York Dada periodical 291. The article devotes a paragraph to Modigliani.
March: Noir et Blanc, the second exhibition organized by Germaine Bongard, Poiret's sister, opens at her dressmaking shop on the rue de Penthièvre. Drawings by Modigliani are included.
March 8-22: Exhibition of Sculpture at de Zayas's Modern Gallery in New York includes works by Modigliani, Brancusi, Adelheid Lange Roosevelt, Adolf Wolff and Alice Morgan Wright.
April: Modigliani draws Picasso at the Café de la Rotonde. While at the Rotonde with Modigliani, Hastings, Picasso and Salmon, Walther Halvorsen proposes an exhibition of French art in Oslo, Norway, which will open at the Kunsterforbunderet in Oslo on November 22, 1916. Halvorsen asks Modigliani to make the drawing of Picasso on the spot, which he does. For payment, Halvorsen buys drinks for Modigliani and Hastings, and gives him ten francs in addition.
May 15: A Dada publication appears in Zurich, Cabaret Voltaire: Recueil Littéraire et artistique, edited by Hugo Ball. It features a pencil portrait of Jean (Hans) Arp by Modigliani.
June: Exhibition at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich, includes works by Arp, Marcel Janco, Auguste Macke, Modigliani, Nadleman and Picasso.
July 16-31: Salon d'Antin exhibition, sponsored by Poiret, features works by de Chirico, André Derain, van Dongen, Raoul Dufy, Roger de la Fresnaye, Othon Friesz, Valentine Gross, Halvorsen, Frank Burty Haviland, Henri Hayden, Kisling, Léger, Matisse, Modigliani, Chana Orloff, Manuel Ortiz de Zarate, Picasso, Georges Rouault, Severini and Vassilieff, among others. The exhibition receives extensive press attention.
July 21: A poetry reading is presented in conjunction with the Salon d'Antin. Jacob's Christ in Montparnasse is read, as is an excerpt of Hastings's unpublished novella Minnie Pinnikin, a love story based upon her relationship with Modigliani.
August 12: Modigliani spends the day in Montparnasse with Jean Cocteau, Jacob, Picasso, Ortiz de Zarate, Henri-Pierre Roché and Salmon. Cocteau photographs them.
October: Roché has an appointment to visit Modigliani's studio, but leaves the night before for the United States, where he stays until February 1919. Before leaving, he gives money to his friend Angel Zarrag to buy a painting from Modigliani on his behalf. Upon his return, he finds that he is the owner of a portrait of Jacob.
November 16: Modigliani writes to his mother to say that his financial situation is better than before.
November 19-December 5: The first Lyre et Palette exhibition features more than fourteen paintings by Modigliani. Jacob, Kisling, Modigliani, Ortiz de Zarate, Picasso and Erik Satie attend the opening.
Winter: Zborowski gives Modigliani a room in his apartment at 3, rue Joseph Bara as a studio, where Modigliani paints many of his nudes.
January 14: Vassilieff and Jacob organize a banquet for Georges Braque to celebrate his discharge from the army after a long convalescence. Léger, Matisse, Modigliani and Picasso attend.
April 17: Modigliani paints a portrait of the art dealer Georges Chéron.
May 1-20: A group exhibition at Galerie Chéron includes works by Modigliani.
May 2-29: Exhibits works at the Galerie Dada, Zurich.
May 15: Nord-Sud features an advertisement for works by Cézanne, de Chirico, Derain, Modigliani, Matisse, Picasso at the Galerie Paul Guillaume, 16 avenue de Villiers.
June: Meets Jeanne Hébuterne and moves with her into 8, rue de la Grande Chaumière.
June 11: In a letter to Picasso, Jacob writes, "Yesterday, Satie, Modigliani and I discussed the differences and similarities between the good lord and you, seriously."
August-September: Nord-Sud repeats the advertisement for the Galerie Paul Guillaume, 16 avenue de Villiers.
April: Hébuterne, now pregnant, and Modigliani leave for the French Riviera to sit out the war in safety. In contact with other artists in the south of France: Alexander Archipenko, Pierre Bertin, Cendrars, Tsugouharu Foujita, Kisling, Gaston and Renée Modot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Morgan Russell, Soutine and Germaine Survage.
While on the Riviera, Modigliani paints many children, peasants, servants and shop girls.
Modigliani lives at the Hôtel Tarelli, 5, rue de France; 13, rue France and the villa of Anders and Rachel Osterlind, "La Riante" in Cagnes, near Renoir's villa "Les Collettes."
November 11: Armistice Day.
November 29: Modigliani's daughter, Jeanne, is born in the Saint-Roch hospital, Nice.
December 15-23: Exposition Peintres d'Aujourd'hui at the Galerie Paul Guillaume, 108, rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, Paris, includes four paintings by Modigliani. The other artists featured in the exhibition are de Chirico, Derain, de la Fresnaye, Matisse, Picasso, Maurice Utrillo and Maurice de Vlaminck. Among those at the opening are Roger Allard, Bernheim, Jacques-Emile Blanche, Bongard, Bontet de Monvel, Jacques Doucet, Louise Faure Favier, Gustave Fuss-Amoré, André Gide, Natalie Gontcharova, the Count de Gouy, Joseph Hessel, Alphonse Kahn, Albert Marquet, Menier, Picasso, Poiret, the Princess of Polignac, Salmon, Gertrude Stein and Vauxcelles.
December 31: Spends New Year's Eve with Léopold Survage at the Coq d'Or, Nice.
February: An article by Roger Fry, Line as a Means of Expression, appears in The Burlington Magazine, accompanied by two illustrations by Modigliani.
February 27: Modigliani writes to Zborowski from the south of France saying that he will start working at 13, rue de France, Nice.
March: Sacheverell Sitwell purchases two oil paintings and several drawings by Modigliani on a visit to Paris.
March 28: Paintings, watercolors, pastels and drawings by Derain, van Dongen, Dufy, Modigliani, Picasso, Vlaminck and others from the collection of Eugène Descaves are sold at the Hôtel Drouot auction house in Paris.
May 27: Receives receipt for his request for an identity card with address given as "Villa Riante" in Cagnes.
May 31: Modigliani leaves the Riviera for Paris, settling at 8, rue de la Grande Chaumière.
June 24: Hébuterne, who remained in the south, wires Modigliani in care of Zborowski, 3, rue Joseph- Bara, asking for money for the trip to Paris.
June 28: The Versailles Treaty is signed, officially ending the war with Germany.
July: Attends the exhibition of Mikhail Larionov and Gontcharova at the Galerie Barbazanges.
July 7: Modigliani writes a document promising to marry Hébuterne.
July 15: An article on Modigliani appears in L'Eventail: Revue de Littérature et d'Art, published in Geneva, Switzerland.
August: Modigliani is featured in Exhibition of French Art, 1914-1919, organized by Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell, at the Mansard Gallery, Tottenham Court Road, London. Nine paintings are exhibited, including "The Little Peasant" (now at the Tate Gallery, London). Other artists featured include Derain, Marthe tour Donas, Friesz, Alice Halicka, Hayden, Kisling, Léger, Lhôte, Louis Marcoussis, Matisse, Picasso, Russell, Soutine, Survage, Suzanne Valadon, Vassilieff and Vlaminck.
Fall: Art and Letters reproduces a drawing by Modigliani.
September: An article in The Burlington Magazine discusses Modigliani.
October: Thora Klinkowstrom (later Dardel) moves to Paris. Models for Modigliani in November.
November: Francis Picabia's Dada publication 391 provides an account of the Salon and notes that Modigliani is exhibiting. The list also mentions Gleizes, Matisse, Picabia, Vlaminck and Ossip Zadkine.
November 1: Les Arts à Paris reproduces Modigliani's painting "La Jolie Fille Rousse."
November 1-December 10: Modigliani exhibits at the Salon d'Automne. Lists the address of his dealer Zborowski, 3, rue Joseph-Bara, as his own.
December: Littérature refers to Modigliani's participation in the Salon d'Automne.
Coterie, available in London and New York, features a drawing of Paul Delay by Modigliani. The editorial committee of that issue of Coterie consists of Richard Aldington, T.W. Earp, T.S. Eliot, Russell Gree, Hamnett, Aldous Huxley, and Lewis. Other issues of Coterie around that time featured drawings by Archipenko, Derain, Gaudier-Brzeska, Kisling, Sickert and Zadkine.
Paints Paulette Jourdain, Zborowski's assistant. This may have been the last work painted by Modigliani.
January 24: Modigliani dies of tubercular meningitis.
January 26: Hébuterne, who is nine months pregnant with their second child, commits suicide by jumping out of a fifth-floor window at her parents' apartment.
January 27: Modigliani is buried in Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris.