Modern and Contemporary Art
Artist: Amedeo Modigliani, Italian, 1884–1920

Portrait of a Young Woman

1918

Oil on canvas

18 × 11 in. (45.7 × 27.9 cm)
framed: 27 3/4 × 20 7/16 × 3 in. (70.5 × 51.9 × 7.6 cm)
Bequest of Kate L. Brewster
1948.123
Geography: 
Possibly made in France
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
Italian
Period: 
19th–20th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

The artist, Nice; probably transferred to Léopold Zborowski, Paris, about 1919 [see note 1]; probably sold to Mary Quinn Sullivan (née Mary Josephine Quinn, Mrs. Cornelius J. Sullivan, 1877–1939), New York, by 1935 [see note 2]; sold to Kate L. Brewster, Chicago (née Kate Lancaster; 1879–1947), December 20, 1935; bequeathed to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1947

Note 1: Léopold Zborowski, a fixture in left bank avant-garde circles of Paris, was a friend and the primary dealer of Modigliani in the artist’s final years. In a letter that the artist sent from Nice to Zborowski in early 1919, he refers to a group of small heads that he made of his wife, Jean Hébuterne (1898–1920), and was planning to send to Paris: “J’attend [sic] qu’une petite tête que j’ai fait de ma femme soit sèche pour vous envoyer, avec celles que vous connaissez, quatre toiles.” (« I am waiting until a little head that I made of my wife is dry before sending you—with the ones you know about—four canvases. ») (Amedeo Modigliani to Léopold Zborowski, early 1919, in Jeanne Modigliani, Modigliani: Man and Myth, trans. Esther Rowland Clifford (New York: Orion, 1958), no. 42) There are four small heads of the artist’s wife that have been identified by Modigliani scholars. It is possible the letter references “Portrait of a Young Woman.”

Note 2: According to a cataloguing sheet in the painting’s accession file, “Portrait of a Young Woman” was brought to Mrs. Sullivan by Léopold Zborowski’s younger brother, “Stanley” (probably Miezyslaw) Zborowski. Zborowski and his brother sold off a large portion of the dealer’s collection after 1929 as a result of the financial crash, with his holdings also liquidated after his death in 1932.

Bibliography: 

Francoise Forster-Hahn, French and School of Paris Paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1968), 18–19.

Frederick Wight, Modigliani: Paintings and Drawings, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Committee on Fine Arts Productions, University of California, 1961), 54, ill.

Ambrogio Ceroni, Amedeo Modgliani: Dessins et Sculptures (Milan: Edizioni del Milione, 1965), no. 216.

Marc Restellini, Modigliani: The Melancholy Angel, exh. cat. (Milan: Skira, 2002).

Maurice Berger, Modigliani: Beyond the Myth, ed. Mason Klein (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2004).

Werner Schmalenbach, Amadeo Modigliani (Munchen, Germany: Prestel-Verlag, 1990), 123, 221, ill.

J. Lanthemann, Modigliani 1884–1920, Catalogue Raisonné. Sa vie, Son Oeuvre Complet, Son Art (Barcelona, Spain: Gráficas Condal, 1970), no. 333.

Ambrogio Ceroni and Francoise Cachin, Tout l’Oeuvre Peint de Modigliani (Paris: Flammarion, 1972), fig. 224.

Christian Parisot, Modigliani: catalogue raisonne (Livorno, Italy: Giorgio and Guido Guastalla, 1990), 193, 322, fig. 9/1918.

Modigliani: Liege, Musee Saint-Georges du 18 octobre au 14 decembre 1980., exh. cat. (Liege, Belgium: Musee St. Georges, 1980), 78, 79, ill.

Osvaldo Patani, Amedeo Modigliani: Catalogo generale, diptini, vol. 1, 3 vols. (Milan: Leonardo, 1991), 242, fig. 234.

Tadayasu Sakai and Toshio Yamanashi, Modigliani Exhibition: Love and Nostalgia for Montparnasse, exh. cat. (Tokyo: Mainichi Newspapers, 1979), 20, ill.

Simonetta Fraquelli and Nancy Ireson, eds., Modigliani, exh. cat. (London: Tate Publishing, 2017), 181.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.