Art is divine

The Painter and the Merchant

by Micha Christos



September 20, 2023 to January 15, 2024



A painter and his merchant

Amedeo Modigliani (1884- 1920) The Young Apprentice - between 1917 and 1919 - Oil on canvas - 100 x 65 cm -

Paris Orangerie Museum - RMN Grand Palais (Orangerie Museum) /Hervé Lewandowski/

Press service/ Orangerie Museum

Amedeo Modigliani (1884- 1920) Black Hair also known as Young Girl Seated - 1918 - oil on canvas - 92 x 60 cm - Paris Musée National Picasso - Paris -

Photo © RCM Grand Palais (National Picasso Museum Paris) Adrien Didierjean -

Press service/ Orangerie Museum








This exhibition aims to explore the links between Amedeo Modigliani and Paul Guillaume, his dealer, in order to shed light on the artistic career of the painter, a Jewish artist of Italian origin, who arrived in Paris in 1906.


In 1909, Modigliani had a real revelation when meeting Constantin Brancusi. The sculptor of Romanian origin made him want to devote himself exclusively to sculpture until 1914, when he definitively abandoned this art for painting due to his lung problems which will hasten his end.


From 1914 to 1920, the date of his death, Modigliani painted numerous paintings having mainly the human figure as their theme. The poet Max Jacob (1876-1944) introduced Paul Guillaume to Modigliani under the aegis of Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) then at the front. The young twenty-three-year-old gallery owner encouraged him, rented him a studio in Montmartre and took care of promoting and selling his works.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884- 1920) Reclining nude - 1917-18 - Oil on canvas - 66 x 100 cm - Italy Turin - Pinacoteca Agnelli © Pinacoteca Agnelli Torino - Press service / Musée de l'Orangerie









Modigliani immortalized Guillaume with four portraits between 1915 and 1916. Full of hopes and dreams, the two men shared literary and artistic affinities, particularly for African art. They loved to let their souls sail into the world of sensitivity and adventure.


In addition to the five paintings kept today at the Musée de l'Orangerie, more than a hundred canvases, fifty drawings and around ten sculptures passed into the hands of the dealer, confirming his passion for the artist's works. Paul Guillaume exhibited them widely in his various Parisian apartments. The whole of Paris at the time was painted by Modigliani, Cocteau, Max Jacob, Moïse Kisling and André Rouveyre.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884- 1920) The Irish Beauty in vest and cameo - Circa 1917-18

  - Oil on canvas - 65 x 48.3 cm - Cleveland The Cleveland Museum of Art - Image

  © Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art -Press Service/Musée de l’Orangerie

Paul Guillaume, Mme Archipenko and Modigliani in Nice on the Promenade des Anglais - Photograph (original photo on postcard) 1917 - 13.8 X 9 cm Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie,

RMN Grand Palais - Alain Bouret Archives, image ©Dominique Cuoto -Press Service/Orangerie Museum

Anonymous - Modigliani in his Workshop rue Ravignan - 1915 - Paris Musée de l'Orangerie - Alain Bouret Archives - Photo RMN Grand Palais (Musée de l'Orangerie)Alain Bouret Archives, image © Dominique Couto - Press service/Museum of the Orangery

Anonymous - Paul Guillaume in his Workshop rue Ravignan - 1915 - Paris Musée de l'Orangerie - Alain Bouret Archives - Photo RMN Grand Palais (Musée de l'Orangerie)Archives Alain Bouret, image © Dominique Couto- Press Service/ Orangerie Museum










The artist also focused on painting the women who shared his life, his models of course but also the writer Béatrice Hastings and his last companion the young painter Jeanne Hébuterne who was also the mother of his child.


The exhibition highlights through Modigliani's work this relationship which unites him to his dealer so briefly in time but so intensely in their souls.


A reading of his work which lifts the veil a little on the absent gazes as if turned towards the interior of his so recognizable portraits whose stretched curved shapes transcribe a pure sensitivity and great modernity.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884- 1920) Head of a Woman - 1911-13 - Limestone sculpture - 47x27 x31 cm - Paris Center Pompidou - Museum of Modern Art Center for Industrial Creation Photo

© Center Pompidou MNAM Dist/ Grand Palais /Jacqueline Hyde- Press service/ Musée de l’Orangerie

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Elvira seated, leaning on a table. -1919- Oil on table- 92.7 x 62.5 cm - Saint Louis Missouri - Saint Louis Art Museum- Image courtesy of Saint Louis Art Museum - Service de presse/ Musée de l’Orangerie


Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) Paul Guillaume, Novo Pilota, 1915 - Oil on cardboard glued to parquet plywood. 105 X 75 CM-

  Paris Musée de l’Orangerie -RMN Grand Palis (Musée de l’Orangerie) /Hervé Lewandowski/ Press service/ Musée de l’Orangerie - Press service/ Musée de l’Orangerie