Monday, April 26, 2010

Modigliani Found

Unknown Portrait by Modigliani Discovered in Bathroom

Jacques Clouseau For La Art

A small painting, showing a portrait of a previously unknown sitter, has been discovered in a small apartment in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Believed to be the work of the renowned and hugely sought-after artist, Antonio Modigliani, this will be an exciting addition to the oeuvre of the artist.

Pierre and Brigitte Dufaux with their Modigliani

The story broke when the grandson of Pierre and Brigitte Dufaux tried to sell the painting for a few Euros to a Moroccan newspaper vendor hawking La Monde on the Champs Elysee. By fate, the Moroccan was an out of work art historian and critic who immediately recognized it as a Modigliani. The painting had the address of the Defauxes on the back of the painting, which the Moroccan used to track down the Defauxs to return the painting.

Newly discovered Modigliani found here in the loo

When asked how they came to acquire the work, Pierre said he bought it for a few francs in the1920s from “some drunk in Le Bateau-Lavoir.” “He was disgusting and I just wanted to get rid of him so I bought the damn thing for a few Francs”, he added. Pierre described how he took the portrait home and spent many years trying to find a place to hang it. “That thing is ugly”, his wife exclaimed and refused to hang it anywhere except over 'la toilet’. “This way I wouldn’t have to look at it when I made pee-pee”, she explained. The painting was in the loo for over 80 years.

The true mystery of the portrait stems from the identification of the person in the painting. Some have claimed that this was a portrait of Art Trip who had come to Paris to attend the Beaux Art at an early age. Trip had become a minor celebrity during that time and perhaps this was Modigliani's gambit to cash in on Trip’s fame and kick start his own faltering career. Those who doubt this conclusion claim that Modigliani died a few years before Trip arrived in Paris. In any event, this will be discussed by art historians for many years to come.

The new discovered Modigliani of Art Trip