After meeting Constantin Brancusi, in 1909, Modigliani began to carve in stone, resulting in about twenty-five known sculptures. These abstracted, elongated heads had a significant stylistic impact on his subsequent figure and portrait paintings. It is fitting that this work, with its strong connection to African sculpture, was originally owned by French artist Frank Burty Haviland, whose famous collection of African art Modigliani knew well. Modigliani’s sculptures also reflect his knowledge of ancient Cycladic, Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, and Oceanic art.
Inscription: Incised on rear side of neck: MODIGLIANI
the artist (1912–18; sold in 1918 to Haviland); Frank Burty Haviland, Paris (1918–28; sold in 1928, through the Galerie Zborowski, Paris, to private collection); private collection, Nice (from 1928); [Perls Galleries, New York; stock no. 13817]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, New York (until 1997; their gift to MMA)
Paris. Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées. "Salon d'Automne," October 1–November 8, 1912, nos. 1211–1217 (one of "Têtes, ensemble décoratif").
Paris. Lyre et palette, la Salle Huyghens. "1re exposition: Kisling, Matisse, Modigliani, Ortiz de Zararte, Picasso," November 19–December 5, 1916 (possibly one of nos. 21–24, as "Figure") [see Ref. Parisot 2012].
Paris. Galerie Devambez. "Exposition de peinture moderne," January 27–February 12, 1920, no. 65 (as "Tête de femme") [possibly this work].