Woman's Head

Artist: Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, Livorno 1884–1920 Paris)

Date: 1912

Medium: Limestone

Dimensions: 27 x 9 1/4 x 9 3/4 inches (68.6 x 23.5 x 24.8 cm.)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: The Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls Collection, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.149.10


After meeting Brancusi in Paris in 1909, Modigliani, who is best known as a prolific painter, began to carve stone sculptures (ca. 1909-ca. 1914). While his total sculptural output was rather small - only twenty-five pieces survive - these abstracted, elongated heads had a significant stylistic impact on his subsequent figure and portrait paintings. It is fitting that this particular head, with its strong connection to African sculpture, was originally owned by Frank Burty Haviland, an American painter living in France (and former associate of Alfred Stieglitz and Marius de Zayas), whose African art collection was known to Modigliani. In addition to African art, Modigliani's sculptures also reflect his knowledge of ancient Cycladic, Sumerian, Egyptian, and Greek art.