photo: Bruce M. White
Full Screen

About This Work

Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884–1920)
Mateo, 1915
Brush and brown wash over graphite
49.5 x 32.4 cm. (19 1/2 x 12 3/4 in.)


[Georges Chéron (d. 1931), Paris]. [Jacques Dubourg (1897–1981), Paris]. Private Collection, Paris [?]. Henry Pearlman, New York, by 1951; Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, by 1959.

Photograph of the subject, Mateo Alegria (center figure)

Critical Perspective

A prolific draftsman, Modigliani made numerous sketches of his artistic colleagues. In this characteristically reductive portrait of the Spanish guitarist and sculptor Mateo Alegria, he exploited the tension between text and image: the sitter’s first name is spelled out in a stacked column of capital letters that reinforces the expressive elongation of his nose, chin, and neck.