imuse_header

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Modigliani, Amedeo


Little girl in blue (Fillette en bleu: Petite fille en bleu)
1918
oil on canvas
116 x 73 cm (45.67 x 28.74 in.)
private collection

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (1884 – 1920), one of the most popular modern-time artists, was an Italian painter and sculptor who was born as the forth and the youngest child in the family, which belonged to the secularized Jewish bourgeoisie. He worked mainly in France. He developed a unique style. Today his graceful portraits and lush nudes at once evoke his name, but during his brief career few apart from his fellow artists were aware of his gifts. He had to struggle against poverty and chronic ill health.

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, at the age of 35. 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.
“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)
http://www.imaginarymuseum.net/view/magazine