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The Musée de l’Orangerie honors the unlikely duo formed by the cursed painter Amedeo Modigliani and his art dealer, Paul Guillaume. Through an intimate exhibition, it immerses us in the artistic and scandalous Paris of the Roaring Twenties.
The Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris presents art enthusiasts with a unique opportunity to delve into one of the most fascinating relationships in the history of modern art through its new exhibition dedicated to the unexpected pairing of Amedeo Modigliani, the accursed painter, and his dealer, Paul Guillaume. This exhibition does more than just display Modigliani’s works; it also tells a captivating story of artistic life in Paris during the Roaring Twenties.
The exhibition transports visitors to post-war Paris, a time marked by an unprecedented cultural ferment. In this bustling environment, the young art dealer Paul Guillaume, only 23 years old, discovers the work of Amedeo Modigliani. Guillaume, known for his unerring flair, immediately recognizes Modigliani’s genius and becomes his ardent defender and promoter.
The journey through the exhibition highlights how Guillaume introduced Modigliani into the artistic and social circles of Paris. With his connections, Modigliani meets influential patrons, such as Dr. Barnes. Guillaume also plays a key role in Modigliani’s artistic evolution, particularly by introducing him to African arts. This is especially evident in Modigliani’s sculptures, which show the influence of Congolese masks and Khmer sculptures from Guillaume’s personal collection.
The exhibition also emphasizes how these influences played a crucial role in the development of Modigliani’s unique style, characterized by elongated faces and sculptural features. Among the works displayed are lesser-known masterpieces like Lola de Valence, as well as portraits of Modigliani’s contemporaries, such as Brancusi and Cocteau.
A particularly scandalous aspect of Modigliani’s career is also highlighted: his voluptuous female nudes. These works caused an uproar in 1917, even leading to police intervention at the Berthe Weill gallery. Despite the controversies, Guillaume offered unwavering support for Modigliani until the artist’s premature death in 1920.
This exhibition at the Musée de l’Orangerie goes beyond the mere presentation of artworks; it immerses visitors in the complex and fascinating intricacies of the relationships between artists and their dealers in the bohemian Paris of the early 20th century. It pays tribute to an improbable yet crucial friendship in the history of modern art.
Exhibition:"Amedeo Modigliani. Un peintre et son marchand" (Amedeo Modigliani: A Painter and His Dealer) From September 20, 2023, to January 15, 2024