Modigliani,  Amedeo (1884 – 1920)

Original drawing by Modigliani, gifted to his mistress

A superb original drawing by Modigliani entitled Cariatide (1913), accomplished in graphite on an off-white 16.75″ x 10.5″ sheet, which is signed vertically in the lower right, ‘Modigliani’ and inscribed on the reverse, ‘a Madame Hastings’. An example from his ‘Caryatid’ series, the sketch depicts a human figure, either a child or a woman, with head turned towards the observer. Framed to a slightly larger size and in fine condition.

From 1909 until 1914–15, Modigliani made more than seventy sketches of Caryatids, which he originally conceived as preparatory drawings for an ambitious sculpture project that he called ‘colonnes de tendresse’ (columns of tenderness). The Caryatids — stylized representations of women that functioned as columns or pilasters in an architectural setting — were notably influenced by African art, which is evident in the poses of the figures and their mask-like faces. These Caryatid sculptures were planned for a secular temple devoted to the beauty of humankind.

The recipient of this drawing was Beatrice Hastings, an English writer, poet and literary critic, who shared an apartment in Montparnasse with Modigliani and became his model for countless paintings, including the 1916 work, Seated Nude.

Provenance: collection of Monsieur F. (auction at Hôtel Drouot, 22nd November 1922, lot N° 14). Collection of Monsieur Coste, by descent.