Amedeo Modigliani’s portrait of Paul Guillaume, completed in 1916, is a striking example of the artist’s unique style. Guillaume was an art dealer who supported Modigliani early on in his career, and this painting captures him at the young age of 23, seated in his library. The pose was the result of a series of photographs taken between 1915 and 1916 in the studio that Guillaume rented for Modigliani.
The portrait showcases Modigliani’s signature style, characterized by elongated faces and bodies, simplified forms, and flattened planes. This style was heavily influenced by the work of Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, who was a major inspiration for Modigliani’s creative development. The painting serves as a vital historical record, comprising a gallery of major figures from the École de Paris circle.
Modigliani executed several drawings and four portraits in oil of Guillaume from 1914 to 1916. In Portrait Of Paul Guillaume, he captured the young dealer with refined lines while still managing to preserve his distinctive features such as his eyes’ intensity. The expressive brushstrokes infuse warmth into this stunning Expressionism piece that translates its subject’s personality so accurately.
This portrait is now considered one of Amedeo Modigliani’s most iconic works due to its emotional depth that flows out through beautiful brushwork sensitive to capturing more than just physical likenesses but also capturing individual character traits within sitters’ characters throughout his body-of-work accomplishments in portraiture pieces made him famous among collectors all over history museums worldwide today.