THE MODIGLIANI PROJECT
PROMOTING RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP ON THE ARTIST
AMEDEO MODIGLIANI (1884-1920)
Paulette Jourdain, Paris, May 1992, © Kenneth Wayne
Dr. Wayne performed extensive research on the Modigliani sculpture owned by the family of Gaston Lévy, who purchased the work at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris in 1927. It was not in the Ceroni catalogue raisonné, but Dr. Wayne located a publication that proved the sculpture had been shown during the artist's lifetime. Estimated at $5.4 to $8 million, it sold for $53 million at Christie's Paris in June 2010 with a catalogue essay by Wayne. This remains a record price in France for a work by any artist.
While they were together, Modigliani's girlfriend Beatrice Hastings wrote a novella about their relationship, titled "Minnie Pinnikin." Excerpts were read by Hastings at a public event on July 21, 1916. Then the manuscript was lost for the rest of the century. Dr. Wayne discovered it in 2001 in MOMA's archives and published it in the appendix of his book, "Modigliani & the Artists of Montparnasse" (2002). The text has a distinctly surrealist tone.
In "Modigliani & the Artists of Montparnasse," Dr. Wayne cited 16 confirmed lifetime exhibitions for the artist, double the number previously known, along with accompanying reviews. Contrary to myths that Modigliani was unknown and unappreciated during his lifetime, he was mentioned or discussed by the leading writers of his time, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Blaise Cendrars, Francis Carco, Max Jacob, André Salmon, Louis Vauxcelles, Roger Fry, Clive Bell and Wyndham Lewis.
In May 1992, Dr. Wayne interviewed Paulette Jourdain (1904-1997), one of Modigliani's last models whose portrait is considered one of the artist's finest (see above). He recorded the visit on tape and took photos. Jourdain resided a short walk from Wayne, who was living in Paris at the time.
Amedeo Modigliani, Portrait of Paulette Jourdain, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 by 25 3/4 in (100.3 by 65.4 cm). Painted ca. 1919. Pictured at Sotheby's New York, Nov. 4, 2015.
© The Modigliani Project; all rights reserved.