Documentation Centre Amedeo Modigliani
Documentation Centre Amedeo Modigliani
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The born of the Documentation Centre Amedeo Modigliani, Colle di Val D'Elsa

The Documentation Centre has no intention of dealing or market allocations in the full belief that too much has been done in this direction, losing the main intent, of what the history and the document are: that any art work should be considered valuable only when there is documentation attached; and this principal also belong to the artists themselfs, if you could just think at the “wanderers” for example. In this regard, it is useful to recall a piece written by his daughter "Amedeo Modigliani was born in Livorno on July 12 1884. Unanimity and the accuracy of the biographical Modigliani devoted to boil down to this simple statement of marital status." (Jeanne Modigliani in "Jeanne Modigliani racconta Modigliani", published by Graphis Arte, Livorno, 1984).

The Documentation Centre, due to the fact that has been programmed as a “work in progress” structure, it will enrich, in the time being books, documents, news and informations that could not be always and necessarily related to the artist himself and the Centre’s name.

We therefore appeal to students, scholars and enthusiasts with a material that is reachable and studiable in one place, that would facilitate the mechanism of knowledge especially if we consider the difficulties we could incur when material is scattered in multiple locations. Trusting in vision and awareness from the Public Corporate Body, banking institutions and all those who trust in the “Industry Italy" and belive in “Art” as strength point for our Nation; we hope to establish and develop a concrete help for scholarships, thesis for degrees, research related to secondary schools and also for information courses with elementary schools as well as maternal schools (service that has already been request from Livorno municipality).

Another primary purpose of the Documentation Centre is to raise awareness of young artists or for those who, due to various reasons, are still in the shadows; and this in reference to what happened in those early years of the twentieth century that we should have learned. To be more precisely in those years when occurred that optimal situation that only happened twice in history: in the Florence of the Renaissance and in the Paris of that time.

The Documentation Centre was invited in Verona with the figure of its president Carlo Rettori and the consultant Gregorio Rossi and Silvia Casamenti, to be awarded, by the Marmi e Graniti d’Italia, for the official presentation of a project that will confer to Livorno a commemorative fountain of Amedeo Modigliani; project which is derived from an ample team of American architects.

Antonio Paolucci wrote the magnificent words to explain how the Macchiaioli is reported to the Ancients ones:

“To the roots of artistic season of the Macchiaioli (and Silvestro Lega more than any other) there is the memory of the old: an antique that in Tuscany mean scores of the clear colors of Piero della Francesca, the essential composition of Masaccio, the perspective brightness of the Angelico and Paolo Uccello"

Guglielmo Micheli, as in contrast with its economic interest:

"... recommended us to go and see what was in this wonderful cradle (Florence ndr) and in Via della Sapienza we got the good grandfather Fattori that welcomed us like so many good grandchildren... advised us to go to Carmine Church to visit Masaccio. He really knew the spaces and the full ones, with its proper perspective to his point of view... the good Micheli some suffered from our separation but it was for our own good..."

Llewelyn Lloyd, "Tempi andati", Vallecchi, Florence Editions 1951

If the Macchiaioli learned from the Fifteenth century, Modigliani, in a search of synthesis, addressed himself to the Primitivi Senesi and also to the Romanesque sculptural Art as well as writing his friend and collector Dr. Alexandre.

The Documentation Centre has strongly been desired in the land of Siena, meanwhile, to dispel the rumor of this Modigliani so little appreciated in his own land and because of that almost fugitive in France;

"If he went to Paris in 1906 was to find himself, as avant-garde artist, in a propitious artistic crucible to his artistic inspiration, and to try to heal so that uneasiness which he carried always inside... Mont-Parnasse in Paris, at the beginning of the Twentieth century, recreated the same historical conditions of Florence and Rome... Whether they were musicians or poets, painters or sculptors, they gathered as in Seventeenth-century in Rome, in this district one of the most exciting and inventive... his fame was such that high that belongs to Italy as country but to everyone as a feeling and that because of the beauty and the unique taste of his works" Marie Claire Mansencal, "in Amedeo Modigliani - Elvira, B&V Editori Pontedera, 2004

Renato Natali went to see him in Paris, believing that Modigliani greatness would had already been recognized; Aristide Sommati, from Livorno, was his friend and first collector; Llewelyn Lloyd certainly doesn't speak of him badly in his memories; Filippo De Pisis wrote:

"...and what about some of his drawings? Could be compared to the Etruscans for a simplicity of style all their own particular and they are nevertheless so modern in spirit!" Filippo De Pisis, in G. Scheiwiller, " Omaggio a Modigliani", Milano 1930

The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena in the figures of its director and staff accepts in official way the reference of Modigliani's portraits to those of the Old Masters (In "Modigliani dessin à boire" by Chiara Filippini e Gregorio Rossi, Edizioni Carte Segrete, Roma 2009).

No one sent him away from Livorno, neither from Italy, since he moved to Florence and then for almost three years to Venice.
Above all, however, striking that from foreign countries it is defined painter of Italian formation:

"Masterpieces of Modigliani inspire the respect that you feel in front of the gilded dome of the Basilica of Torcello, in which the Virgin and Child seems to stretch and flex the above of the faithful, or in front of the Sienese Madonnas ... he reinvents a intimate Byzantium in the heart of a cosmopolitan Babel … found, without the slightest trace of hybridity imitative or obsessive reminiscence, the pure tradition of the exaltation of the figure goes from the Byzantines to Senesi, from Lorenzetti to Botticelli." Claude Roy "Modigliani" Skira-Newton Comton, Ginevra 1991

Meidner said that during their conversations Modigliani showed him and described the photos he brought from Italy of works from some Tuscan artists such as Simone Martini and Duccio di Buoninsegna.

A director of the Pushkin Museum concludes his text with the words:

"And returning to the fatal question of foreign connoisseurs of Art: Is Amedeo Modigliani an Italian painter? We can evidently answer: a person that in such a way understands the magic strength of the pictorial form, yes, it is an Italian painter!" Vladimir Goriainov, in " Modigliani, l'artiste italien", Giorgio Mondadori Editions, Milano 2008

But also the Italians were able to see:

"...but mostly I like to bring Modigliani to the Sienese: to Simone Martini..." Lamberto Vitali, "Disegni di Modigliani", in "Arte Moderna Italiana" (Modern Italian Art), n 15, H.T., Milano 1929

Amedeo Modigliani loved to recite passages from the Divina Commedia; he was usually repeating that he was a painter and that he was Italian.
The beauties of the Monumental Cemetery of Pisa, of the Lucca area, Siena and Venice were the best thrust to his inspiration.
Above all he had to be Carrara to fascinate him, as in the letter to his friend Alexandre from Livorno April 23, 1913, there is this sentence:

"...I would do all in the marble. Village at which plant also literally my tent, a field tent, is a dazzling light of the most dazzling clarity of air and light that there is...".

To confirm how important it is to need a documentation centre in Italy, even more in Tuscany and mainly in the Sienese, with the study of purely Italian formation in the style of Modigliani, we would like to refer to some words from a passage of Raffaele Monti in one of his chapter extrapolated from the catalog of the exhibition of Modigliani edited by Rudy Chiappini at the Museum of Modern Art of the city of Lugano in 1999

"...from here the same sense and the supremacy of that linear and structural sketch that it contains, is born, to the incandescent state, the vertexes of his language: a sketch been born from the exercise and from the method by which he referred in his letter to Ghiglia of 1905 and ingeniously derived therefore by the teaching of Micheli"

The final confirmation comes from Claude Roy, when, referring to Amedeo's daughter (Jeanne) confessions, tells us how the artistic path was faced onto looking more at the life side instead of his works.

If we would have had only his paintings, his drawings and his sculptures in our hands, and just knowing nothing about his biographical data, we would have rebuild his artistic path based on the report of a chronological production that would have might lead us to diametrically opposed conclusions instead of the ones we got today. We could have thought that his origins would have come from Paris and they would have been developed due the pictorial influences of Cézanne and so on. and that only later he was landed in Italy. In fact, the acquisition of the dictates of the Old Italian Masters, is especially strong in the works of the last period.


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