Amedeo Modigliani Hermaphrodite, 1910-1911 pencil on paper 43 x 26 cm │ 16,9 x 10,2 in.
Detail with, in transparency, trace of the Studio di testa.
Studio di testa on the reverse of the work.
On the front of the drawing it’s possible to see the head that the artist drew on the back. In other contemporary drawings, a similar female head is proposed to match the face of Anna Akhmatova, the Russian poet with whom Modigliani had an intense intellectual and sentimental relationship between 1910 and 1911. See the drawing Femme à la robe décolletée allongée sur un lit (Anna Akhmatova) from 1910-1911, sold at Sotheby's auction, London, 20 June 2018, at a price of 430,000 GBP.
Modigliani, Femme à la robe décolletée allongée sur un lit (Anna Akhmatova), ca. 1910-1911.
Anna Akhmatova, ca. 1910.
Amedeo Modigliani, Cariatide, 1911-1912 The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Naked woman E27429, ca. 1300 BC. New Kingdom of Egypt (16th-11th century BC), Paris, Louvre.
The attention to classical sculpture as well as to the experiences of Aristide Maillol or other of his contemporaries present in the great Parisian exhibitions of the early twentieth century, the interest for the African masks that just then had given impetus to a radical updating of the iconographic repertoire of European art, are all factors that stimulate the artist's creativity in the years in which he began to devote himself to sculpture.
Roman age art, Apollo di Piombino, I century b.C., Paris, Musée du Louvre. The sculpture, found in 1832 in Piombino, was purchased for the Louvre Museum in 1834.
Aristide Maillol, Pomone aux bras tombants (Pomona with Lowered Arms), 1937, bronze. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
On the left: Roman age art, Apollo di Piombino, I century b.C., Paris, Musée du Louvre. The sculpture, found in 1832 in Piombino (or rather the ancient Roman Populonia in Etruria), was purchased for the Louvre Museum in 1834.
On the right: Aristide Maillol, Pomone aux bras tombants (Pomona with Lowered Arms), 1937, bronze. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
Modigliani was impressed by some photographs concerning the recent excavations of Egyptian underground burials in which figures hieratically silhouetted against the entrance to the pronaos appeared. These photographs were published in magazines attentive also to modern art such as “L'Art Décoratif”. But Modigliani contaminated the Egyptian model with other iconographic references. In the offering gesture of a female caryatid with her arms outstretched, he was certainly inspired by the bronze Apollo of Piombino in the Louvre, the same one that Maillol already referred to for his admired Pomona at the Salon d'Automne in 1910, later placed in the Jardin du Carrousel du Louvre in Paris (replicated in a 1937 version now at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York).