Despite Death Threats, Modigliani Expert To Publish New Catalogue Raisonné

And he's not even the only one.

Marc Restellini in front of his Pinacotheque de Paris, opened in 2003. Photo Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images.

French scholar Marc Restellini has braved death threats over his efforts to authenticate works by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.

Now, in the wake of the record-smashing $170.4-million sale of one of the artist’s nudes at Christie’s New York in May, Restellini is back after having previously abandoned an effort to compile a catalogue raisonné, or exhaustive inventory, of Modigliani’s paintings, reports the Art Newspaper. His Institut Restellini will publish one online by year’s end, says the paper, though he had previously been threatened for declining to record certain works in his publication, which could damage their values, reported the New York Times in 2014.

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché, 1917–18. Courtesy Christie's New York.

Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché, 1917–18.
Courtesy Christie’s New York.

Restellini is also the founder of an international network of private museums, each dubbed the Pinacotheque.

And he’s not even the only one touting a new Modigliani publication.

Kenneth Wayne, a curator with extensive museum experience, also promises to compile a definitive inventory, says TAN, via the nonprofit Modigliani Project. Wayne has held curatorial positions at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo, New York, and was deputy director at New York’s Noguchi Museum, according to a bio on his website.

Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard), 1919. Photo courtesy Sotheby's.

Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hébuterne (au foulard), 1919. Photo courtesy Sotheby’s.

Paris museum curators and directors Brigitte Léal (Centre Pompidou), Sophie Krebs (Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris), and Cécile Girardeau (Musée de l’Orangerie) will contribute, under the stewardship of Michel Menu, the chief conservator of the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France, Paris, writes TAN.

The battling publication projects come to light amid a feverish market for the artist’s works. A Modigliani sculpture, a head rendered in stone, fetched $70.4 million at Sotheby’s New York in November 2014; some 13 Modigliani works have sold for north of $20 million in as many years, according to the artnet Price Database. Two dozen works by the Italian master have come to auction in 2016 alone; nearly four dozen came to the auction block in 2015.

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