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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Modigliani, Amedeo


Seated Nude
1918
oil on canvas
37 x 29 cm
Honolulu Museum of Art
http://www.honoluluacademy.org/

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.” (Modigliani)
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (1884 - 1920) was an Italian painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. He was born as the forth and the youngest child in the family, which belonged to the secularized Jewish bourgeoisie. Primarily a figurative artist, he became known for paintings and sculptures in a modern style characterized by mask-like faces and elongation of form.

In 1914, the First World War broke out and he wanted to enlist but was exempted from military service for health reasons. In 1917, he met the 19year old Jeanne Hébuterne (1898-1920), student of the academy and started to live together. “She was gentle, shy, quiet and delicate. A little bit depressive”. She became his major model until his death, he painted her no less than 25 times. In 1918, Modigliani and Jeanne left Paris, which was under the threat of occupation by Germans, and went for the southern coast. In Nice and its environments he produced most of the paintings that would later become his most popular and highest-priced works.
In November, 1918 in Nice, Jeanne  gave birth to a girl. After returning to Paris, by the end of 1919, he became seriously ill with tubercular meningitis, exacerbated by poverty, overwork and addiction to alcohol and narcotics, and he died on January 24, 1920. On the following day the pregnant Jeanne committed suicide. They were buried together in the Père Lachaise cemetery. Their orphan daughter was adopted by Modigliani’s sister in Florence; later she would write an important biography of her father Modigliani : Man and Myth.
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/magazine