Welcome to the initial installment of the Modigliani Project’s on-line catalogue raisonné. At this early stage, we are concentrating on the paintings missed by Ambrogio Ceroni in his publication of the artist’s work, Tout l’Oeuvre Peint, 1970 (1972). Six paintings are presented here, following a rigorous CR committee meeting on October 17-18, 2019, and months or even years of research. As many as fifty paintings may eventually be added to Modigliani’s oeuvre beyond Ceroni. This on-line presentation will be continuously expanded. Ceroni himself declared that his publication was not exhaustive or complete. In addition, his study does not include provenance or exhibition history while ours does.
This is the first-known Modigliani catalogue raisonné to use scientific and technical analysis as a central part of its decision-making process: pigment testing, x-ray, infrared, canvas weave, etc. Connoisseurship and historical research are also important factors. Typically, connoisseurship has been the primary or sole criterion used in the Modigliani field, as for most other artists. Seeing the paintings together in one room next to each other is a powerful tool in assessing the works and their brushstrokes, composition, scale, specific features and spirit, and that happened at the committee meeting. Modigliani was consistent in his approach. Elements not visible to the naked eye, but only with scientific equipment, are key.
This study is the first Modigliani catalogue raisonné to be determined by a committee rather than a sole individual. The committee of experts consider a lengthy technical report, prepared by outside, established conservation professionals with significant knowledge of Modigliani. The reports are generally 35-50 pages in length but could be longer as well. An application, or submission form, is presented by the owner with known information on each painting. Outside colleagues with special knowledge may be asked for commentary. The CR committee convenes in person to examine the works firsthand and to discuss them together. Then a vote is taken. A unanimous decision is required for a work to be included in the on-line CR.
Our decisions for the Catalogue Raisonné are based on our opinions, which are protected by the U.S. First Amendment. The decisions are not statements of fact or guarantees. We reserve the right to change our minds if new information emerges. We are not an Authentication Service or an Appraisal Service. Our website exists only for scholarly purposes. Applicants whose painting was not chosen for inclusion have the right to resubmit their paintings for consideration at a later date if new data appears that could be decisive.
We reserve the right to add, subtract or edit any texts on this website. The information provided is not necessarily exhaustive and may be expanded at a later date as new data emerges. This database represents a good faith effort to provide valuable information to help advance Modigliani scholarship. This database is governed by U.S. law.
At present, our on-line database is free to use, but we reserve the right at a later date to charge a fee as more material is added.
People register to gain access by giving their name and e-mail address on the first page in the box that says: “I agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use.”
We expect to have our next meeting in Paris in the spring of 2020. We plan to continually add information to the site with a major addition of material to come on the artist’s birthday each year, July 12.
Our site will feature hundreds of paintings. Sculptures will be posted as well. We will have a Drawings service to provide information for a fee, but not necessarily a definitive decision. We have been approached by individuals who want Ceroni paintings to be tested. We are happy to consider that.
Dr. Kenneth Wayne, Director/President
November 18, 2018