Death Mask of Amedeo Modigliani

Death Mask of Amedeo Modigliani
Artist:
Jacques Lipchitz (French, 1891-1973)
Date:
1920
Medium:
Bronze, Edition of 12, unnumbered cast 
Dimensions:
8-3/4 x 5-3/4 x 4-1/2 in. (22.2 x 14.6 x 11.4 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Barbara Poe Levee 
Accession Number:
P.2001.06 
Copyright:
 
Not on View
Description

Jacques Lipchitz and Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) were close friends. Each one had moved to France at a young age, and together they matured both artistically and personally in the bohemian enclaves of Paris. The two immigrants—both of whom had come from Jewish backgrounds—lived among other young artists, including Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris, and they shared a passion for liberating the traditional boundaries of art making. Their close relationship is recorded by Modigliani in a sensitive portrait of Lipchitz and his wife (1916, Art Institute of Chicago). The mask displayed here, cast upon Modigliani’s untimely death, reflects how portraiture can be used not only to identify the character of a sitter but also to record and remember a beloved figure.

Provenance:

One of four bronze replicas made from original plaster by James N. Rosenberg, New York, sometime after 1922, gift to;
Bernard and Rebecca G. Reis, by inheritance in 1988 to their daughter;
Barbara Poe Levee, Los Angeles, donated 18 October 2001 to;
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.

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