The online auction company Gorgeov's, specializing in Major works of 19th and 20th Century Masters, located in Andorra and Luxembourg, has acquired an unknown work so far of the Italian artist living in Paris, Amedeo Modigliani (1.884 -1.920).
Manuel Giraudier art adviser and head of the art department of Gorgeov's, describes the work as "is a work of great artistic precision, sweetness, elegance and sensuality." Giraudier, was also involved in the work that was discovered of Vincent van Gogh "Sunset at Montmajour" in 2013 and that currently is in the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
The work in question is a magnificent painting made in 1917 with the technical "Pastel et crayon sur toile", and is the previous study of one of the masterpieces of the painter, "La Belle Romaine" that in 2010 at Sotheby's reached the historical record price at auction of the artist fixing at 69 million U.S. dollars.
The provenance of the work comes from the hand of another artist. Emilio Vilà Gorgoll, of Catalan origin who in 1.911 settled in Paris. In the 20's he became the most famous poster designer of the city. His posters, among others, were the covers of the film industry in Paris, the world leader at that time. Performed countless exhibitions in the city and lived in the famous rue of the Grande Chaumière, where they lived many of the great painters of the time such as Modigliani and Gauguin. He developed a close friendship with the professor of the Colarossi Academy (rue of the Grande Chaumière), Claudio Castelucho also of Catalan origin. The academy, had as students to Modigliani, Gauguin, Camille Claudel and Miro, among others.
Emilio Vilà had long conversations about painting with Modigliani in the Kisling's study (one of the best friends of Modigliani), located on rue Joseph Bara and that was the last studio of Modigliani until his death.
The poster designer remained the work of his property for more than 50 years, without worrying about the authentication or cataloging process. He knew personally the artist and he wanted the work for his personal enjoyment. In the late 50's and early 60's, Emilio Ribas the Vilà's nephew (that acting as father of Ribas because his father died in the First World War), maintained a friendly relationship with the poet and painter Jean Cocteau (friend of Modigliani and Picasso), who was portrayed by Modigliani. In some of the cross letters that remained with Cocteau, confirmed that he saw the work (among others that had Vilà of Modigliani), in the Kisling's study. Among the works of Vilà's property had the previous study of the famous portrait of Jean Cocteau, who acknowledged it.
In the late 60's and only a few months before his death, Vilà decided to sell the work to a private collector. In the purchased process, the buyer demanded a thorough analysis about the authenticity of the work. At that time, the german Mr. Arthur S.Pfannstiel was one of the world's foremost experts on Modigliani. He analyzed the work physically, the provenance and even a handwriting analysis by experts who used the police and judges of the letters of Jean Cocteau. Pfannstiel certified the work as authentic, exceptional pictorially and as the previous study of "La Belle Romaine". He also noted that would include the work in their new catalog raisonné, a fact that never happened due to his death.
The new owner, in love with the painting, had the work during for more than 45 years presiding over your living room, not caring the "commercial certifications" that in the business of art subsequently emerged, especially from the years 80-90. The history of the work of which he had evidences and objective documentation, was the substitute.
The business of certification about contemporary experts of Modigliani, has recently raised several mediatic and judicial scandals, casting doubt on the authenticity of some works certified by these experts. There are currently no an expert of Modigliani consensual by the international community.
The work has only once seen the light, in a temporary exhibition held in 1.968 at the Museum of Utrecht (Netherlands). The exhibition catalog even has an own introduction by Arthur S. Pfannstiel.