Antonia

Antonia

Only the first name of the model in this portrait is known: Antonia. It is traditionally dated to 1915 as it bears similarities to another canvas by Modigliani from the same year that also belonged to Paul Guillaume: Madame Pompadour, conserved at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Antonia is portrayed here face-on, her arms crossed. She poses seated in front of a geometric background, which is in fact a window. The rounded contour of her face and her cylinder-shaped neck are animated by various techniques inspired by Cubism. The nose is outlined on both sides, while the different depictions of the ears and the two sides of her hair suggest both a front view and profile view at the same time.
The green eyes seem to stare intently at the viewer, but are devoid of pupils. The dark dress with a jewel decorating the neckline evokes the black curtain in the background to the left. The window does not provide any light, but the painting is brought to life by the lines of the window, which contrast with the curves of the face and neck and the perpendicular line of the crossed arms. These lines echo the double symbol in the form of a cross adjacent to the name Antonia in the top left.

Provenance: Paul Guillaume, Domenica Walter