Will the real Modigliani please stand up?

Modigliani Project aims to throw new light on a market bedevilled by fakes and squabbles


The US scholar Kenneth Wayne is planning a “variation to the traditional catalogue raisonné” on the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. Ambrogio Ceroni’s catalogue raisonné, first published in 1958, is considered the benchmark, but is often said to contain gaps as his listing of 337 pieces only includes works that he had seen.

The Modigliani Project, founded by Wayne in 2013, aims to throw new light on a market bedevilled by fakes and squabbles. “We plan to publish a supplement to Ceroni by 2020 with around 50 works,” Wayne says. This will be followed by detailed online postings on the Ceroni works. In a counter move, the Paris-based art historian Marc Restellini told Vanity Fair magazine that his organisation, the Institut Restellini, plans to launch an online-only, fee-paying catalogue raisonné of Modigliani paintings later this year.

Wayne is organising a show of Modigliani’s works at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia scheduled for 2020, the 100th anniversary of the artist’s death. In addition, a major survey opens at Tate Modern (23 November-2 April 2018), as well as an exhibition of early drawings at the Jewish Museum in New York (15 September-4 February 2018). Meanwhile, an international team of scholars and curators aim to clarify Modigliani’s techniques through scientific analysis. Jeanne Bathilde-Lacourt, the curator of Modern art at the Lille Métropole Museum, is assisting the research related to Modigliani’s works in French state museum collections.