aMBROGIO ceroni


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>To see the works listed year by year, go to the CATALOGUE RAISONNÉ page.

  • He was a Milanese banker and appraiser for auction houses and later an art critic, died in 1970.
  • His 3 publications, 1958 - 1970 - 1972 are used as the only valid source today by Sotheby's & Christie's.
  • In his day he was considered as a fully respectable source.
  • He only covered the period from 1906 (the arrival in Paris) to the death of the author.
  • No work previous to 1906 is even mentioned.
  • He listed 337 paintings over a period of 13 years with 270 errors.
  • His work is important because he gathered much interesting and lost information.
  • As usual when the only thing supporting a work is "connoisseur" skills and the value of the eye, it doesn't last long.
  • The only reason to keep it as the "source" in Modigliani at present is because the others are so appalling that he is the least bad

    His work is full of myths let's finish some of them:
    1.- He never included American paintings FALSE. he included many of them, not all, but many.
    2.- His work is solid. FALSE more than 270 mistakes in 337 paintings + many works not even seen.
    3.- He said that he viewed and examined carefully all the works listed in person FALSE, there are many mistakes as obvious as canvas when it's cardboard (+10 times).
    4.- If a work is in Ceroni, then is original, FALSE until the present more than 8 false have been detected and silently vanished.

    Some truths to admire on his work:
    1.- Compared to some others he deserves total admiration.
    2.- He was alone surrounded by Goliath's and even so, he did a good job.
    3.- His choices respect the artists legacy.

    After his death in 1970 his widow expertises saying "it was in my husband's files and intention".
    Her daughter collaborated with Parisot in some points (Just in some, she is a respected art historian).

    Various publications 1958 - 1970 - 1972, the real Raisonné is very hard to acquire (as in all the others) but his Rizzoli is very easy and cheaper.

    1.- . Amedeo Modigliani, Ed. del Milione 1958.
    Amedeo Modigliani: Pientre; Suivi Des 'Souvenirs' De Lunia Czechowska and Amedeo Modigliani:
    Dessins Et Sculptures; Avec Suite Du Catalogue Illustre Des Peintures. (2 Volume Set.)

    2.- The complete paintings by Modigliani,Art Classics Rizzoli, Ed. Rizzoli, 1970.
    Leone Piccioni - Ambrogio Ceroni
    Included 337 works with 337 photos.

  • After his death his widow became a "source" for unpublished works.
  • His daughter is involved in Modigliani and has published some works on nudes and collaborated on some points with Parisot.
    Actually she collaborates with Wayne at the Modigliani project & her recent article at Burlington magazine was interesting
    03/2018 | 160 | 1380 | pages: 189-195 | Article - The Modigliani Technical Research Study. The catalogues raisonnés of Amedeo Modigliani
  • I have a lovely book by her with a nude in the cover that she must probably want to hide today.

  • Many artworks are for sale with certificates by Angela Ceroni (widow).
Methods of working:
  • Some points to have in mind, all said by him:

    He said that he viewed and carefully examined in person all the works listed.
    He named his work as a "catalogue raisonné" of Modigliani's production.
    He made at least 5 corrections to his catalogue, the last published in 1972 after his death.
    He used (or said that he did) all the reliable sources and updated frequently.

    After a simple analysis of his work:

    His catalogue can not be called "raisonné", it presents enormous gaps in dating, medium, titles, provenance, exhibits, etc. a catalogue raisonné needs to be absolutely exact, exhaustive and complete.
  • With this statement, Ceroni's work should be called a "paintings collection," a good one in comparison with others on Modi, but absolutely not a Catalogue Raisonné, and this is why:

    He could not have seen all the works in person since there are totally obvious mistakes.
    EXAMPLE: Works painted both sides, only seen one side.
    EXAMPLE: Enormous mistakes in supports, "oil on canvas" when it's wood or cardboard.
    EXAMPLE: Wrong measurements in many works.
    EXAMPLE: His work was totally out of date in locations even at the time of printing.
    EXAMPLE: In his last edition he didn't change many of the owners, measurements or mediums when many were totally accessible at that time.
    EXAMPLE: His dating lacks any explanation and presents many mistakes.
    EXAMPLE: He omitted some of the most glorious works by the Livorno master.
    He included several fakes in his catalogue that have silently vanished. Discover them for yourself...

    It is impossible to read the art evolution in Modigliani because works that come from the same year (the same painting session, same dressing, same hair comb, etc. etc.) are placed in different years.
    He accepted as valid the word of Lunia Czechowska changing dates and adding works because she confirmed the authenticity, when she was not trustable.

    Remember, it is a "catalogue raisonné" and that means he must include "all" Modi's production. (not our problem how he solves things like lost or whatever, it is raisonné or not?).
    I use as base " Modigliani the pictorial works", introduction by L. Piccioni. / Noguer Edit. Barcelona, 1972-77 (known as Rizzoli 1970).

    Definitively not a reliable or trustworthy source for cataloging.
    Here is a simple scheme of the cataloged works.
  • In red are corrections to his numbers because of mistakes in supports, measurements, or he had not seen the back of the painting:
Nº works listed
1900-1905 0 -
1906 0 -
1907 5 1 ERROR
1908 7 1 ERROR
1909 18 16 ERRORS
1910 2 1 ERROR
1911 0 -
1912 4 3 ERRORS
1913 6 5 ERRORS
1914   1 ERRORS
1915 54 36 ERRORS
1916 58 57 ERRORS
1917 58 55 ERRORS
1918 66 41 ERRORS
1919 54 53 ERRORS
1920 - -

ERRORS are as obvious as 2 sided paintings mentioned one side only, cardboard named as canvas and almost all the measures with mistakes.
In the year by year (catalogue raisonné) each mistake is mentioned, but in conclusion, more than 270 mistakes in 337 works...

Would you still call it raisonné?

  • Bibliography:
    (not complete only the ones based in Modigliani)

    1.- Amedeo Modigliani Mit d. Erinnergn v. Lunia Czechowska/Ambrogio Ceroni Edizioni del Milione
    2.- Amedeo Modigliani, peintre. Suivi des Souvenirs de Lunia Czechowska. [Avec des lettres de Modigliani.]. Ambrogio Ceroni; Lunia Czechowska Choroszczo Edizioni del Milione, 1958.
    3.- Amedeo Modigliani, Ambrogio Ceroni, Edizioni del Milione, 1958.
    4.-Amedeo Modigliani peintre, Ambrogio Ceroni Edizioni del Milione, 1958.
    5.-Amedeo Modigliani / Ambrogio Ceroni; E E Baumbach Edizioni del Milione, 1959.
  • 6.- Amedeo Modigliani : dessins et sculptures ; avec suite du catalogue illustré des peintures par Ambrogio Ceroni; Edizioni del Milione, 1965.
    7.- I dipinti di Modigliani por Ambrogio Ceroni; Leone Piccioni; Rizzoli Editore, cop. 1970.
    8.- Das gemalte Werk von Modigliani; Ambrogio Ceroni Kunstkreis, 1970.
    9.- La obra pictoirica de Amedeo Modigliani por Amedeo Modigliani, Noguer, 1971.
    10.- Tout l'oeuvre peint de Modigliani / Ambrogio Ceroni; Simone Darses; Françoise Cachin, Flammarion, cop. 1972.
    11.- Das gemalte Werk von Amedeo Modigliani, Bücherbund 1972.
    12.- Tout l'oeuvre peint de modigliani : introd. par francoisecachin. Documentation par Ambrogio Ceroni. Flammarion, 1972.
    13.- La obra pictorica de Modigliani; Leone Piccioni; Ambrogio Ceroni; Francisco José Alcántara, Noguer, 1977.
    14.- Modigliani por Leone Piccioni; Ambrogio Ceroni; Kinga Csengery; Corvina, 1993.

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