In 1909, after meeting Constantin Brancusi, Modigliani began to produce sculptures by carving into stone, completing about twenty-five works throughout his short career. The style of these abstracted, elongated heads is echoed in his subsequent figure and portrait paintings. Fittingly, this particular head, with its strong connection to African sculpture, was originally owned by the American artist and African art collector Frank Burty Haviland. Haviland lived in France, and Modigliani became familiar with his collection. In addition to African art, Modigliani’s sculptures reflect his knowledge of ancient Cycladic, Sumerian, Egyptian, and Greek art.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Dimensions:26 7/8 × 6 1/4 × 9 1/2 in. (68.3 × 15.9 × 24.1 cm) Weight: 75 lb. (34 kg)
Credit Line:The Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls Collection, 1997
Inscription: Signed (on rear side of neck, incised): 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); private collection, United States (in 1986); [Perls Galleries, New York, by 1990; stock no. 13817]; Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls, New York (by 1996–97; 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. "1re Exposition: Kisling, Matisse, Modigliani, Ortiz de Zarate, Picasso," November 19–December 5, 1916 (one of nos. 21–24, as "Figure") [possibly this work].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, not in catalogue.
Florence. Museo degli Argenti. "Memorie dell'Antico nell'arte del Novecento," March 14–July 12, 2009, no. 5.
Jewish Museum, New York. "Modigliani Unmasked: Drawings from the Paul Alexandre Collection," September 15, 2017–February 4, 2018, unnumbered cat. (p. 7).
Jacques Lipchitz. Amedeo Modigliani. New York, 1952, pp. 5–6.
Alfred Werner. "Modigliani as a Sculptor." Art Journal 20 (Winter 1960–61), p. 74.
Alfred Werner. Modigliani the Sculptor. New York, 1962, pp. XXIII, XXVII n. 4.
Bernard Schuster and Arthur S. Pfannstiel. Modigliani: A Study of His Sculpture. Jacksonville, Fla., 1986, pp. 22–23, 44–45, 49–50, 57, 88, no. XXV, ill. pp. 45, 49, 80, 88, call it "Tête"; locate it in a private collection, United States.
Werner Schmalenbach. Amedeo Modigliani. Malerei—Skupturen—Zeichnungen. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Munich, 1990, pp. 19–20, 222, no. 98, pl. 96, dates it about 1913.
Pierre Cabanne. "Modigliani sculpteur." L'Oeil no. 419 (June 1990), p. 58, figs. 3–5, dates it 1912–13.
Daniel Marchesseau, ed. Modigliani. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 1990, p. 212, no. 18, ill. (color) pp. 92, 93, dates it about 1913.
Robert Fohr. "Modigliani le peintre et le sculpteur." L'Estampille, l'objet d'art hors série (), pp. 26, 30, ill. p. 24 (color), calls it an "étude de tête" and dates it 1913; locates it in the collection of the Perls Galleries, New York.
Christian Parisot. Modigliani. Paris, 1991, ill. pp. 38–39 (color), dates it 1913.
Osvaldo Patani. Amedeo Modigliani: Catalogo generale. Vol. 2, Sculture e Disegni, 1909–1914. Milan, 1992, p. 64, no. 24, ill. (color and bw), calls it "Grande testa".
J[ason]. E[dward]. K[aufman]. "Perls Adds Gems to the Met." Art Newspaper no. 61 (July–August 1996), p. 14.
Anette Kruszynski. Amedeo Modigliani: Portraits and Nudes. Munich, 1996, pp. 20, 117, ill. p. 25 (color), calls it "Head," dates it about 1913, and locates it in the Perls Galleries, New York.
Carol Vogel. "Met is Given 13 Works Worth Over $60 Million." New York Times (May 20, 1996), pp. C11–C12, ill., calls it "Head of a Woman".
Massimo Bertozzi inMemorie dell'Antico nell'arte del Novecento. Exh. cat., Museo degli argenti. Florence, 2009, pp. 104–5, no. 5, ill. (color).
Christian Parisot. Modigliani: Catalogue raisonné. Vol. 5, [Poggibonsi?], 2012, pp. 148–49, no. XXVIII / XXX, ill. (color), calls it "Grande tête" and dates it 1911.
Werner Schmalenbach. Amedeo Modigliani: Paintings—Sculptures—Drawings. (1st ed., German, 1990). Munich, 2016, pp. 19–20, 220, pl. 96, calls it "Head," dates it about 1913, and erroneously locates it still in the Perls Galleries, New York.
Max Hollein. Modern and Contemporary Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2019, ill. p. 23 (color).
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.