I'll have to reign myself in on this page because Amedeo has always been "My Main Man", and I have adored his work since I first saw it when I was fifteen. The classic tale of suffering, poverty, addiction, and torment that relates to the term "artist" describes Amedeo Modigliani. (Modigliani had to struggle against poverty and chronic ill health, dying of tuberculosis and excesses of drink and drugs at the age of 35). As a child he was subjected to severe illness including pleurisy, typhoid fever, tuberculosis and pulmonary complications. He lead a life of personal torment and alcohol abuse, coupled with a firey relationship with his fellow artist, Jeanne Hebuterne. Amedeo and Jeanne had one child, and she was nine months pregnant with the second when she committed suicide by hurling herself off a tall building upon hearing of her husband's death. Modigliani did not enjoy commercial success while he lived, but after his death in 1920 his works became increasingly popular. The manner in which he changed facial, nose, neck, and body shape has always intrigued the art community. Modigliani's application of color utilized warm, passionate colors for skin tones, and this added a vivacious feeling to his portraits. Positioning of his models is a technique this artist mastered early in his career, and he was a genius at capturing mood on canvas. Modigliani's subjects impart an impression of impassioned souls waiting to be released from their personal torment. Primitive sculpture, and masks from Africa influenced his work heavily, and this allowed Modigliani to minimize the importance of the complex European artistic tradition in favor of an increasingly primitive style. To be sure, Modigliani's portraits have several elements that can be singled out at a glance as his "trademark style". (For instance, he painted his figures with long, slender faces and elongated necks). This aberration of the human figure bodes well when viewed in his compositions. Today many of his works are selling at prices ranging from one million to fifteen million dollars a piece. It is a sad irony he died in poverty. Many artists of today have paid homage to Modigliani and his work. An interesting footnote is Pablo Picasso's last dying words were Modigliani's name.
"Nudo Seduto su un Divano (Seated Nude on a Divan)"
"Bambina in Azzurro (Young Girl in Blue Dress)"
"Nudo Sdraiato, a Braccia Aperte (Reclining Nude)"
"Donna Zingaresca Con Il Bambino (Gypsy Woman With Baby)"
Would you believe the popular E-Mail Stationary Site (www.stationary.org) had this listed as "Woman with Cat"? I wrote and corrected them...I think Amedeo deserved at least that much respect!
"Leopold Zborowski, Seduto (one of his financial supporters)"
"Ragazza Del Servo (Servant Girl)"
"Redhead Giovane in un Vestito da Sera (Young Redhead in an Evening Dress)"