The Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris is currently showcasing a captivating exhibition titled “Amedeo Modigliani: A Painter and His Dealer”. This exhibition sheds light on the exceptional relationship between the internationally renowned Italian artist, Amedeo Modigliani, and his art dealer and friend, Paul Guillaume, and explores how this relationship profoundly influenced the artist's career and his body of work.
Modigliani arrived in Paris in 1906 as a painter, but it was only in 1909, after his encounter with the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, that he was introduced to sculpture, a medium to which he dedicated himself until 1914, before abruptly returning to painting until his death.
The sudden and definitive return to painting marked a pivotal moment in his artistic journey. It was during this period that Paul Guillaume entered the scene. Thanks to the poet Max Jacob, Guillaume is believed to have discovered Modigliani in 1914, presumably becoming his art dealer. This period has been documented in the correspondence between Paul Guillaume and Guillaume Apollinaire, who was serving at the front during World War I.
Modigliani immortalized his dealer in a series of painted and drawn portraits between 1915 and 1916, with the first one being preserved at the Musée de l'Orangerie. This portrait depicts Paul Guillaume as a visionary avant-garde pilot, bearing the inscription "Novo Pilota", reflecting the artist's ambition and trust in his dealer. The correspondence between the two men also reveals a more intimate relationship, based on artistic and literary affinities, as well as a shared interest in African art, literature, and poetry.
The exhibition at the Musée de l'Orangerie not only features five of Modigliani's paintings but also over a hundred canvases, fifty drawings, and ten sculptures that passed through the hands of Paul Guillaume. This wealth of artworks demonstrates the dealer's deep commitment to the artist and his personal affection for Modigliani's work, which was prominently displayed in his various residences. Among the exhibited works are portraits of prominent figures in the Parisian art scene of the time, including Max Jacob, André Rouveyre, Jean Cocteau, Moïse Kisling, as well as anonymous models.
Furthermore, the exhibition highlights beautiful sets of portraits of the women who shared Modigliani's life, including writer Béatrice Hastings and the young painter Jeanne Hébuterne, his final companion and the mother of his child.
Beyond presenting Modigliani's iconic works that have fascinated us for generations, this exhibition immerses visitors in the artistic and literary context of Paris in the 1910s. It also explores the crucial role played by Paul Guillaume in promoting Modigliani's art on the art market, both in France and the United States, during the 1920s. This exhibition offers a fascinating opportunity to learn more about Amedeo Modigliani as an artist and the cultural and intellectual world in which he evolved. It's an artistic and cultural experience not to be missed for art enthusiasts and those curious about art history.
The reception team at the hotel Moderniste is at your service for any reservation inquiries or additional information.
Until January 15, 2024. Open every day except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Photo ©Rob Corder - flickr