Jonas Netter, is one of the most influential collectors of the 20th century, a discoverer of talents, all the more inspired and brilliant, in that he was totally discreet throughout his life, to such an extent that he is even today still completely unknown by the general public. However, without him, Modigliani would probably not have existed, nor Soutine, nor Utrillo. This exhibition will now pay him the homage he deserves by enabling the public to discover an ensemble of works of astounding beauty, chiefly by Modigliani.
Jonas Netter was Alsatian, an agent for various trademarks settled in Paris, and he was fascinated by art and painting. He discovers a painting by Modigliani and decides to buy it. He was one of the very first to acquire works by that artist, taking over from Paul Alexandre, who had supported him until then, before World War One. A collector in his very soul, Netter started off buying all the works by Modigliani that he saw at Zborowski’s. He became passionate about that artist of whom he managed to acquire about forty paintings at the end of the Twenties.
Then he noticed Soutine. Long before Barnes, he was fascinated by him. He, the middleclass and discreet Alsatian Jew, was overtaken by a limitless passion for all those artists who made up the Paris School. He also discovered Utrillo : his white period delighted him and he started buying them also by the dozen, always via Zborowski. The latter found himself, thanks to Netter, at the head of a genuinely new market and of a bunch of young artists who suddenly found themselves propelled forward by this new generation of dealers and collectors. Valadon and Kisling were also part of that group of painters, as well as many others, just as wonderful even if they did not necessarily attain the same notoriety: Kremègne, Kikoïne, Hayden, Ébiche, Antcher and Fournier.
Palazzo Reale will show, for the first time ever, a group of never before exhibited works by Modigliani that recreates, alongside other works we have managed to find, Jonas Netter’s collection such as it was in his own time. Palazzo Rale is therefore very proud to be able to partake in this outstanding discovery and to undertake Jonas Netter’s first wish, i.e. that the largest possible public should have access to these marvels