color in modigliani



I'll try to keep it simple to make it easy

Some experts in a clear symptom of their poor vision or hidden intentions believe that pigments should be kept secret, supposedly to avoid counterfeiters, but let's be frank it is absolutely impossible to do a bulletproof
counterfeit with the current means.

Doing a bit of revisionism, the first serious study on Modigliani's work scientifically speaking is from 1981, the meeting of French museums and his laboratory did a study for a mega exhibition and the results were quite bittersweet.
They discovered without even looking for it that four of their five works were probably false or false beyond any doubt.
That study was covered a little in a bad way, but still remained as a reference. The museum itself continues to place the works as if they were authentic and this despite knowing for sure that they are false.
false example in museum

After this first study that opened a door, other independent laboratories tried to study on their own but they reached a black hole: the Amedeo Modigliani Legal Archives led by Christian Parisot and with the unfailing genetic support of Modigliani's daughter (Jeanne Modigliani) who authorized them by the JEDI force of their genes to decide beyond any logical or analytical conclusion.
This situation was maintained throughout the eighties and remained practically unchanged until 2010-2020 .

In the fight to be the authentic and only certifier of Modigliani (which of course and is not doubtful, it is a great business) new contenders emerged:

1.- Patani in the 1990's, was quickly dismissed and accused of falsehoods by  Parisot and even Restellini, falsehoods that later were not proven but the doubt marked him for the rest of the time. He was already older so he decided to retire, he planted some fight but finally ended up joining Parisot in some ways.

2.- Restellini emerged strongly thanks to the support of the Wildenstein Institute and began first by saying that science was nonsense, what was important was his "feeling in the stomach" and then pretending that thanks to his privileged access he had all the necessary knowledge.

Meanwhile Parisot continued doing his things and presenting examples of science that are worth mentioning such as the alleged x-rays of the "other" version of the married couple:
in p. 34 of the 2010 Prague exhibition curated by Parisot he presents this caryatid and attached in the x-rays of the painting to demonstrate the reuse of the canvas, in a later exhibition he shows that on the back of the canvas there is a sketch of the painting "bride and groom", this is simply impossible since both paintings both the front and the back plus the supposedly covered would be visible in the same X-ray, one mounted on the other (he says the 3 are in oil).
parisot x ray hw they should be
This is an example of a Modigliani painting that has another painting under the visible layer and as can be seen both images are one on top of the other:

x ray detail

The same mess is applicable to pigments, you first have to define what a pigment or a color is. A pigment would be the union of various chemical components to form a base color.
(in this website you can find a huge and easy to use technical reference: LINK)

Well the issue is that Parisot in his technical reports take it to the most European connoisseur style and say it is because I say it and Restellini because "I have secret proofs and data I will not reveal to not give clues to evil forgers"
The conclusion would be the same in both cases, I do not give explanations, it is because I say so ...

Suddenly in this mess a group arises that, taking up the first studies in 1981, decided to do the same with a large group of paints and subject them to a thorough pigment analysis:
The Modigliani Technical Research Study. An introduction to Modigliani’s materials and techniques, published in Burlington magazine, March 2018, No. 1380 – Vol 160 and in later editions.
This study has "revealed that Modigliani was anything but chaotic in his painting methods. He developed a highly skilled, unique and consistent technique" and this is the same in his use of color.

Who made / participated / collaborated in this study:

Francesca Casadio, Kim Muir and Frank Zuccari of the Art Institute of Chicago; Robin Craren, Judith Dolkart (formerly), Cindy Kang and Anya Shutov of the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia; Silvia Amato, Aviva Burnstock and Barnaby Wright from the Courtauld Institute of Art; Elsje Janssen, Lizet Klaasen and Lies Vanbiervliet at Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (KMSKA); Elma O’Donoghue, Charlotte Eng, Yosi Pozeilov and Virginia Rasmussen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Sylphide de Daranyi of Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; Silvia A. Centeno at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Anny Aviram, Diana Hartman, Kate Lewis, Chris McGlinchey and Ana Martins of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Ann Hoenigswald from the National Gallery of Art, Washington; Don H. Johnson, Rice University, Houston; Adam Finnefrock, Alyssa Hull and Jennifer Mass at Scientific Analysis of Fine Art (SAFA); Julie Barten, Corey D’Augustine, Susan Davidson, Lauren Engel, Jennifer Hickey and Hillary Torrence at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Marian Cousijn, Mark Heathcote, Joe Humphries, Emma Jones, Marcella Leith and Emma Lewis of Tate, London; Brian Singer at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne; Pedro H.O.V. Campos and Márcia Rizzutto, Institute of Physics at the University of São Paulo (IF USP); Anikó Bezúr and Pablo Londero at the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, independent art historians Marianne Le Morvan and Kenneth Wayne and the main names: Nancy Ireson and Simonetta Fraquelli, who approached Tate Conservation to start all the study.

The conclusions (I present it in simple way, to read the complete go to Burlington):

Modigliani’s Paris portraits 1915–17:
SHORT & BASIC COLOR PALETTE, still under cubist influence but getting free.

1915 to 1917 palette
Modigliani’s painted nudes 1916–17:
SHORT & BASIC COLOR PALETTE, a consistent and limited range of pigments.

painted nudes
Modigliani in the South of France :
SHORT & BASIC COLOR PALETTE significant change in the technique and appearance.

color conclussions
Modigliani’s late portraits:
SHORT & BASIC COLOR PALETTE a return to the classical tradition of the Renaissance.

last portraits colors

The result is similar all over his production, the palette is short and concise, he always used lead / zinc white and in all over his paintings,
all over his production we find more or less the same pigments from 6 to 9.


After seeing the results of science we can compare with the results provided by Marc Restellini (private expert) and his Restellini Institute, which has its own laboratory in the free port of Geneva.
Restellini does not usually present the results of his studies to the public (he usually hides them to prevent the evil counterfeiters from copying the secret ingredients that only he has detected in that laboratory)

Therefore we will have to refer to his private dossiers used to justify that a work is falses, in this case I will use the dossier that the president of the Restellini institute of Paris and Geneva,
Eligio Meizoso (president of the Restellini Institute in Paris and Geneva Branch, laboratory included) presented to the police after posing as an outraged buyer to get me in jail.

To avoid Restellini saying that we have misunderstood him, I will paste a copy of page 14 and 15 of his dossier directly so that his written words speak for him and translate the intro and the end:

What we can simply indicate for the moment is that the pallete of authentic Modigliani works is rarely made up of less than 10 to 12 pigments, as shown in the following list of works
that we have had the opportunity to analyze over the past 20 years as part of the Wildenstein institute and then the Restellini Institute.

page 14 of a private dossier

Page 15 (sorry for my finger in the photo):
page 15

La Patronne's visual poverty could thus be explained if it were in fact made up of only 6 to 9 pigments. This confirms in any case that this work could not have been made by Modigliani himself.

Therefore and categorically as he says in writing, the authentic works by Modigliani are rarely composed of less than 10 pigments. In his studies the average is 12 and he even reaches 17, amazing.
If this is true, it would mean that all the works analyzed by the best experts in the world in their field are rare exceptions or false, since none of them reaches even 10 pigments.
This confirms in any case that this work could not have been made by Modigliani

(It is very curious to note that he has analyzed the pigments but he forgets that the first work he presents, the Nu Carco, is on cardboard and says is canvas and the second the same)

alla this works should be in doubt??? no way

So we are again at the same point as when Parisot vs Patani and the 1981 study, if we accept as valid the opinion of the "private expert" then all the paintings in the study could not have been made by Modigliani therefore are fakes (of course this is not my opinion is just a simple conclusion extracted from his words) so the options are:

A private expert opinion (check this link) or the Modigliani research study?

and this is where the magic of art history reaches the market.
to read about those experts click here

If you have anything to add, contact me.