Some of Modigliani’s Most Seductive Portraits Were Once Censored by Police—See Them Here

Tate Modern has assembled the largest group of Modigliani nudes ever united in the UK.

Modigliani in his studio, photograph by Paul Guillaume, c.1915 ©RMN-Grand Palais (musée de l’Orangerie) I Archives Alain Bouret. Image: Dominique Couto.

Tate Modern, London
Until April 2, 2018


What the Institution Says: “During his brief and turbulent life Modigliani developed a unique and instantly recognizable pictorial style. Though meeting little success during their time, his emotionally intense portraits and seductive nudes are now among the best-loved paintings of the 20th century. Modigliani’s nudes are a highlight of the exhibition—with 12 nudes on display, this is the largest group ever reunited in the UK. These sensuous works proved controversial when they were first shown in 1917, leading police to censor his only ever solo exhibition on the grounds of indecency.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: The Italian artist, who spent many of his most productive years in Paris, died at the young age of 35. He left behind a body of unforgettable portraiture. But while you may come to the show for the paintings, you’ll stay for Modigliani’s lesser-known sculptures. Tate Modern has dedicated an entire room to nine sculptural works. The elegant, elongated heads were inspired by the work of the artist’s close friend Brancusi, as well as by African masks and other non-Western artifacts.

What It Looks Like: 

Modigliani’s Seated Nude (1917). Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, Lukasart in Flanders. Photo: Hugo Maertens.

Modigliani’s Reclining Nude (1919). Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Modigliani’s Nude
(1917). Private Collection.

Modigliani’s Portrait of a Young Woman (1918). Yale University Art Gallery.

Modigliani’s Self-Portrait as Pierrot (1915). Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.

Modigliani’s Marie (Marie, fille du peuple) (1918). Kunstmuseum Basel, Bequest Dr. Walther Hanhart, Riehen (1975).

Modigliani’s Boy in Short Pants (c.1918). Dallas Museum of Art, gift of the Leland Fikes Foundation, Inc. 1977.

Modigliani’s Cagnes Landscape (1919) Private Collection.

Modigliani’s Woman’s Head (With Chignon) (1911-12). Merzbacher Kunststiftung.

Modigliani’s Head (c.1911). Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Lois Orswell © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Modigliani’s Beatrice Hastings (1915). Private Collection.

Modigliani’s The Little Peasant
(c.1918). Tate, presented by Miss Jenny Blaker in memory of Hugh Blaker 1941.

Amedeo Modigliani, Léopold Zborowski, Anders Osterlind and Nanic Osterlind, Haut-de-Cagnes (1919). Association Anders Osterlind.

“Modigliani” is on view until April 2, 2018 at the Tate Modern at Bankside, London SE1 9TG.

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