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Gallery Text

Known primarily for his brief, bright career as a painter, Modigliani also made an early foray into sculpture. Inspired by his introduction to Brancusi in 1909, Modigliani carved twenty-five works over the next five years; all but two were heads. The earlier head displayed here, Head VIII (1992.254, has been associated with a drawing that may reveal the artist’s original conception. In the drawing, the female sitter wears a jeweled headdress, but in carving the stone, Modigliani stopped before rounding out the head. Instead, the bust recalls the form of an architectural capital. The later, more elongated, bust (TL41258.2), may have been influenced by Brancusi’s Head of a Girl of 1907, and was part of a suite of seven heads displayed in 1912 at the Salon d’Automne, an annual exhibition of contemporary art. Both of these heads bear features that allude to the art of Africa and the ancient world that so interested the avant-garde.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1992.254
People
Amedeo Modigliani, Italian (Livorno, Italy 1884 - 1920 Paris, France)
Title
Head
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture
Date
c. 1911
Culture
Italian
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/227273
Location
Level 1, Room 1300, Modern and Contemporary Art, Early Modernism
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Stone
Dimensions
39.4 × 31.1 × 18.7 cm (15 1/2 × 12 1/4 × 7 3/8 in.)
57 lb.
Provenance
( Beatrice Hastings, London, by 1914?). Leicester Galleries, London (c. 1939-38). Georges Eumorfopoulos (1863-1940), London; his estate sale Sotheby's, London, 14 June 1940, no. 36. [Buchholz Gallery, New York, New York], sold; to Lois Orswell, 1945(?), gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 1992.

Note: see de Stefani, Studiolo, 2015.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lois Orswell
Accession Year
1992
Object Number
1992.254
Division
Modern and Contemporary Art
Contact
am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Leone Piccioni and Ambrogio Ceroni, I dipinti di Modigliani, Rizzoli (Milan, 1970), p. 109, no. VIII

Dario Durbé and Angelo Titonel, Due pietre ritrovate di Amedeo Modigliani (1984)

Modigliani: gli anni della scultura, exh. cat., Mondadori (Venice, 1984), no. 8

"La Chronique des Arts: Principales Acquisitions des Musées en 1992", Gazette des Beaux-Arts (Paris, 1993), no. 305, p. 66, p. 66, ill. (b/w)

Anna Tahinci, "Maudit Modi: Modigliani's Sculpture", Sculpture Review (New York, NY, 2001), Vol. L, No. 2, pp. 16-21, p. 18, ill.

Marjorie B. Cohn and Sarah Kianovsky, Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 171, fig. 153

Kenneth Wayne, Modigliani & The Artists of Montparnasse, exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, 2002), p. 123, cat. no. 43 (ill. in b/w)

Mason Klein, Modigliani: Beyond the Myth, exh. cat., The Jewish Museum, New York and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, NY, 2004), p. 93, plate 8, ill.

Simonetta Fraquelli and Nancy Ireson, ed., Modigliani, exh. cat., Tate Publishing (London, 2017), pp. 64-65, 213, ill. (color)

Mason Klein, Modigliani Unmasked, exh. cat., The Jewish Museum, New York and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, New Haven, London, 2017), pp. 7, 160, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

20th Century Abstract Painting and Sculpture, Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, 04/16/1947 - 05/18/1947

20th Century Art in New England, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Boston, 05/06/1948 - 06/30/1948

Modern Art at Harvard, Bunkamura Museum of Art, Tokyo, 07/31/1999 - 09/26/1999; Takamatsu City Museum of Art, Kagawa, 10/09/1999 - 11/14/1999; Matsuzakaya Art Museum, Nagoya, 12/02/1999 - 12/27/1999; Oita City Museum, Oita, 01/06/2000 - 02/06/2000; Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki, Ibaraki, 02/11/2000 - 03/26/2000

Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/21/2002 - 02/16/2003

Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 06/28/2003 - 09/28/2003

Modigliani: Beyond the Myth, Jewish Museum, New York, 05/21/2004 - 09/19/2004; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 10/23/2004 - 01/23/2005; The Phillips Collection, Washington, 02/26/2005 - 05/29/2005

32Q: 1300 Early Modernism, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 10/19/2017; Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 04/05/2018 - 01/01/2050

Modigliani, Tate Modern, London, 11/22/2017 - 04/02/2018

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at am_moderncontemporary@harvard.edu