ROME — The tormented artist Amedeo Modigliani is beloved both by art aficionados and forgers.
Now, an art expert has written a report, leaked by the Italian news media, for state prosecutors that says a third of the works in a popular Modigliani exhibition last year in Genoa, Italy, are fakes.
The expert, Isabella Quattrocchi, said that seven drawings and eight oil paintings by Modigliani, as well as six oil paintings attributed to his friend and sometime collaborator, Moise Kisling, were not authentic. The art works were lent by private collectors and museums in Italy, Switzerland, Israel, Argentina and the United States.
Ms. Quattrocchi said in the report that the works had been “crudely forged,” “both in terms of style and pigments,” according to the news agency ANSA. She also wrote that the frames came from Eastern Europe and the United States, and had little to do with Modigliani in terms of context and historical period, ANSA reported this week.
Ms. Quattrocchi, an independent art expert, wrote her report for prosecutors in Genoa. Three people are formally under investigation, including Rudy Chiappini, the curator of the Genoa show, which ran for four months last year at the Palazzo Ducale, a prestigious exhibition venue — but no one has been charged. The exhibition was shut down three days early, after art experts began questioning the works. Ms. Quattrocchi and the Genoa prosecutor’s office did not respond immediately to requests for an interview.
Mr. Chiappini has challenged the expert’s findings, pointing out that all the paintings in the exhibition had been included in catalogs of Modigliani’s works, and had been exhibited before.