Enfant gras, 1915

Amedeo Modigliani - Oil on canvas - cm 45,5 × 37,5

“Today critics are lavish with their praise and confer genius and beauty on every street corner […]. I am almost afraid of the words but, either I am blind or Italy will have to make up its mind to recognize in Modigliani a draftsman who can stand alongside its classics of the past.”

This was how Lamberto Vitali presented a small collection of drawings by Modigliani which he brought out in 1929, together with his friend, the Milanese publisher and art critic Giovanni Scheiwiller. The volume demonstrated the collector’s precocious admiration for the Tuscan painter, whose work he had come across at the Venice Biennale in 1922.
The painting, previously in the collection of Paul Guillaume, was acquired by Vitali in 1938 from the Barbaroux gallery in Milan. It dates from 1915, the year in which Modigliani initiated, in his own words, “le grand style,” consisting of a series of portraits and nudes with highly geometricized traits: pictures with unreal tones laid on in broad and dense areas of paint. The series also includes the Portrait of Moïse Kisling, which arrived in the Pinacoteca as part of the donation of Emilio Jesi.

Enfant gras
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