Modigliani, who left Italy for Paris in 1906, is said to have met the Spanish artist Juan Gris at the apartment of writer and art patron Gertrude Stein in 1909 or 1910. At the time of this portrait, Gris was twenty-seven and Modigliani thirty. Although he was influenced by Cubist painters such as Gris, Modigliani also briefly worked in sculpture under the tutelage of Constantin Brancusi. By 1914 Modigliani was focused solely on painting, but he presented his subjects with simple contours, elongated forms, and spare, stylized features that parallel those in his three-dimensional art. He produced a prodigious body of work before dying of tuberculosis at the age of thirty-five.
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Credit Line:Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), 1967
Inscription: (upper right): GRIS
Georges Dorival, Paris (after 1923–d. 1939; possibly gift of his estate to Viard); possibly Dr. Paul Viard, Paris (from ca. 1939); private collection, United States (in 1947); [Perls Galleries, New York, until 1950; stock no. 4695; sold on February 27, 1950, for $6,200, to de Groot]; Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York (1950–d. 1967; her bequest to MMA)
New York. Perls Galleries. "Masterpieces from the Collection of Adelaide Milton de Groot," April 14–May 3, 1958, no. 27 (as "Portrait de Juan Gris," 1916).
Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts. "Masterpieces from the Adelaide Milton de Groot Collection," December 2, 1958–March 1, 1959, no. 26 (as "Juan Gris," 1916) [probably withdrawn early for Exh. Chicago-Milwaukee-Cincinnati 1959].
Arts Club of Chicago. "Amedeo Modigliani," January 30–February 28, 1959, unnumbered cat. (as "Juan Gris," c. 1915, lent by Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York).
Milwaukee Art Center. "Amedeo Modigliani," March 5–April 1, 1959, unnumbered cat.
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati Art Museum. "Amedeo Modigliani," April 18–May 20, 1959, no. 8 (as "Juan Gris," c. 1915, lent by Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York).
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Modigliani: Paintings and Drawings," January 19–February 25, 1961, no. 8 (lent by Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot, New York).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Modigliani: Paintings and Drawings," March 28–April 30, 1961, no. 8.
Edinburgh. Royal Scottish Academy. "Modigliani," August 17–September 15, 1963, no. 8.
London. Tate Gallery. "Modigliani," September 28–November 3, 1968, no. 8.
Tokyo. Grand Magazin Seibu. "Modigliani," May 3–June 19, 1963, no. 23.
National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto. "Modigliani," June 22–August 4, 1968, no. 23.
Fukuoka Cultural Center. "Modigliani," August 15–September 1, 1968, no. 23.
Paris. Musée Jacquemart-André. "Le Bateaux-Lavoir: Berceau de l'art moderne," October 10, 1975–January 31, 1976, no. 48 (as "Portrait de Juan Gris").
Bellingham, Wash. Whatcom Museum of History and Art. "5000 Years of Art: An Exhibition from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 4, 1976–October 2, 1977, no. 73.
Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Museum of Art. "Masters of the Portrait," March 4–April 29, 1979, no. 35 (as "Portrait of Juan Gris," ca. 1915–16).
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Juan Gris: His Life and Work. New York, 1947, p. ix, fig. 7, dates it about 1918 and locates it in a private collection, U. S.
Howard Devree. "Both Old and New: From the Early Renaissance to Picasso Range the New Exhibitions." New York Times (March 5, 1950), p. 104, mentions this picture as "warrant by itself for a visit" to Exh. New York 1950.
Jacques Lipchitz. Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920). New York, 1954, pl. 60, dates it 1916.
Arthur Pfannstiel. Modigliani et son œuvre. Paris, 1956, p. 90, no. 114, as "Le Peintre Juan Gris"; lists it under 1916.
Jeanne Modigliani. Modigliani: Man and Myth. New York, 1958, pp. 67, 72, comments that although this picture has been dated 1916, Modigliani probably met Gris in 1909–10 at Gertrude Stein's apartment on the rue de Fleurus.
Frederick S. Wight. Modigliani: Paintings and Drawings. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Los Angeles, 1961, pp. 22, 34, no. 8, ill. p. 15, dates it about 1915; notes the Cubist influence in this picture.
Jeanne Modigliani. Modigliani sans légende. Paris, 1961, p. 77.
John Russell. Modigliani. Exh. cat., Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. 1963, pp. 14–15, no. 8, pl. 6, dates it about 1915.
Ambrogio Ceroni. Amedeo Modigliani: Dessins et sculptures, avec suite du catalogue illustré des peintures. Milan, 1965, p. 42, no. 173, ill., dates it 1916.
Alfred Werner. Amedeo Modigliani. New York, , fig. 46, dates it about 1918.
Ambrogio Ceroni. I dipinti di Modigliani. Milan, 1970, pp. 92–93, no. 99, ill. [French ed., 1972].
J[oseph]. Lanthemann. Modigliani, 1884–1920, catalogue raisonné: Sa vie, son Oeuvre complet, son art. Barcelona, 1970, p. 114, no. 108, ill. p. 187, illustrates another portrait of Gris, calling ours the second.
Thomas Schlotterback. 5000 Years of Art: An Exhibition from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Whatcom Museum of History and Art. Bellingham, Wash., 1976, p. 99, no. 73, ill., dates it 1918.
William Fifield. Modigliani. New York, 1976, p. 191.
Thomas Schlotterback inFive Thousand Years of Faces. Exh. cat., Bellevue Art Museum. Bellevue, Wash., 1983, unpaginated.
Rafael Santos Torroella inModigliani, 1884–1920. Exh. cat., Centre Cultural de la Caixa de Pensions. Barcelona, 1983, p. 21, fig. 4.
Kathleen Howard, ed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 1983, p. 412, no. 5, ill. (color).
Douglas Hall. Modigliani. Oxford, 1984, unpaginated, colorpl. 24, remarks that, unlike most of his other stylized portraits, this picture shows Modigliani's rapport with the sitter; surmises that this "effeminate" portrayal of Gris "hints at some clash between the two men"
Jeanne Modigliani. Racconta Modigliani. Ed. Giorgio and Guido Guastalla. Livorno, 1984, p. 98.
Terence Measham in20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 36, ill. (color), notes that this picture was probably painted in a single sitting and mentions similarities with Modigliani's sculpture, African art, and Cubism; remarks that the inscription is not only the sitter's name but also means "gray," a color associated with Spanish art and Cubism.
Neal Benezra. "A Study in Irony: Modigliani's 'Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz'." Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 12, no. 2 (1986), p. 190, fig. 4, calls it a "rather disparaging depiction".
Thérèse Castieau-Barrielle. La Vie et l'œuvre de Amedeo Modigliani. Paris, 1987, p. 107, ill. (color).
Roger Bevan. "Exhibition Reviews: The Metropolitan Museum: A New Wing for Modern Art." Apollo 127 (January 1988), p. 41, calls it "Juan Gris".
Gaston Diehl. Modigliani. rev. ed. [1st ed., 1969]. New York, 1989, p. 64, ill. p. 35 (color), characterizes Modigliani as "understanding and affectionate" in this portrait.
Werner Schmalenbach. Amedeo Modigliani. Malerei—Skupturen—Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Munich, 1990, pp. 14, 31, 220, no. 30, colorpl. 32, dates it about 1915.
Osvaldo Patani. Amedeo Modigliani: Catalogo generale. Vol. 1, Dipinti. Milan, 1991, p. 124, no. 104, ill. (color).
Christian Parisot. Modigliani: Catalogue raisonné. Ed. Giorgio and Guido Guastalla. Vol. 2, Peintures, dessins, aquarelles. Livorno, 1991, pp. 286–87, no. 37/1915, ill. p. 97.
Anette Kruszynski. Amedeo Modigliani: Portraits and Nudes. Munich, 1996, pp. 34, 36, 40, 45, 118, ill. p. 38 (color), dates it about 1915; suggests that the inscription imitates the inclusion of letters in Cubist paintings.
Kenneth Wayne. Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse. Exh. cat., Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. New York, 2002, pp. 32–33, fig. 7 (color), suggests that Modigliani could have met Gris even earlier than suggested by Jeanne Modigliani [Ref. 1958], when both artists lived in the Bâteau Lavoir, by 1908.
Werner Schmalenbach inModigliani: The Melancholy Angel. Exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. Milan, 2002, p. 37, fig. 8, dates it about 1915.
Tamar Garb inModigliani: Beyond the Myth. Ed. Mason Klein. Exh. cat., Jewish Museum, New York. New Haven, 2004, pp. 45–46, fig. 2 (color).
Mason Klein inModigliani: Beyond the Myth. Ed. Mason Klein. Exh. cat., Jewish Museum, New York. New Haven, 2004, p. 8, asserts that the depiction of individual traits within geometric forms as seen in this portrait is a formal expression of "the inability of Jews to escape their condition".
Rudy Chiappini inModigliani. Exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome. Milan, 2006, pp. 25–26, fig. 6.
Simonetta Fraquelli inModigliani and His Models. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 2006, pp. 32, 82, 155, no. 7, ill. p. 83 (color), calls it close to caricature.
Kathleen Brunner inModigliani and His Models. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 2006, p. 149.
Jeffrey Meyers. Modigliani: A Life. Orlando, 2006, pp. 110, 161–62, refutes Klein's [Ref. 2006] argument that this picture expresses Modigliani's Jewish identity.
María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco, ed. Juan Gris: Correspondencia y escritos. Barcelona, 2008, p. 86 n. 105, p. 502.
Christoph Vitali, ed. Amedeo Modigliani: Ein Mythos der Moderne. Exh. cat., Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn. Cologne, 2009, pp. 69, 176, no. 48, ill. (color).
Werner Schmalenbach. Amedeo Modigliani: Paintings—Sculptures—Drawings. (1st ed., German, 1990). Munich, 2016, pp. 14, 31, 218, colorpl. 32.
P. B. in "Georges Dorival, comédien & collectioneur." Tableaux, sculptures modernes & contemporains: Collection Dorival. December 13, 2018, p. 8.
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