(1884 - 1920)
Amedeo Modigliani was active/lived in Italy, France. Amedeo Modigliani is known for elongated female figure painting.
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Biography from the Archives of askART
Amadeo Modigliani was born in Livorno, Italy in July 1884. Both
sides of his family were Sephardic Jews. His father Flaminio was
an unsuccessful entrepreneur who had a small money-changing business,
and his mother Eugenia, by far the stronger personality of the two, ran
an experimental school. Thanks to his mother, the atmosphere of
the household was always unconventional. He was the baby in his
family and he was treated with special affection and favor. When
he wanted to throw over his studies to become a painter, they promptly
sent him to art school, first in Livorno and then in Florence and
Venice. He won a student prize and was highly praised. When he
jettisoned his bourgeois Italian heritage and rejected Renaissance
painting tradition, he took on the mores of flagrant Parisian
Bohemianism and adopted the forms of primitive art. He became a
rake, a drunk, a hashish smoker, feeling that his being an artist set
him above the morality of the world at large.
Biography from RoGallery.com
arrived in Paris in 1906 at the age of twenty-one. His mother had
agreed to give him a small allowance. Like Picasso, whom he
sometimes emulated and Brancusi, with whom he studied, Modigliani found
a source for simplified expressionistic representation of the human
figure in African sculpture. Where the influence came to him
directly, or through these early contacts, his trademark conventions of
elongated neck, exaggerated oval eyes, and flat, scooped nose all
ultimately derive from ritual tribal sculpture. As Modigliani
paintings became more and more controlled and stylized, his life sank
into increasing debauchery. He had a habit of stripping stark
naked when drunk. Sooner or later he painted nearly everyone in
his circle, working feverishly to complete each painting in a single
session and vividly seizing the mood and manner of the subject.
Left Bank neighborhood was a special place for foreign artists in the
first decades of the 20th century. Among the international mix
who gathered there were Picasso (Spain), deChirico (Italy), Nadelmann
(Poland), Jules Pascin (Bulgaria), Diego Rivera (Mexico), Joseph Csaky
(Hungary), Mondrian (Netherlands), Brancusi (Romania), Lipchitz (United
States), Soutine (Russia). Many of them became subjects of
Of the many women who shared an hour, a
month or a year with Modigliani, only two had a lasting effect on the
artist and his work. Beatrice Hastings was a well-born South
African poet whom Modigliani met in 1914. She was five years
older than he; she had a little money. For two years he lived in
her small cottage in Montparnasse, painting her portrait ten times and
drawing her endlessly. His art became more sure, his style increasingly
individual. But his life with Beatrice became more and more
tempestuous, marked with heavy drinking. They quarreled often and
often came to blows. On one occasion he threw her out of a window
and eventually he left her.
Within a year he had formed the
final and deepest attachment of his life. In 1917, he met Jeanne
Hebuterne, a slim nineteen year old art student. They became
inseparable and Modigliani's friends had hopes that Jeanne would bring
health and order into his life. But the painter was already spent
with drink, drugs and disease and Jeanne's only desire was to please
him. For three years she posed for him, cared for him and bore
him a child, a daughter. They moved to Nice for a while, fought a
lot, separated for a while. Her mother, whom Modigliani loathed
because she disapproved of him, moved to be near them. He got
drunk on the way to register the baby as his own, and she remained
officially fatherless, though she was later adopted by his family in
Italy. In May 1919 he returned to Paris, leaving Jeanne and the
When he died at thirty-six on January 24, 1920 of
tubercular meningitis, Jeanne leapt from a fifth floor window two days
later to rejoin him in death, in spite of the fact that she was
pregnant with his second child.
His mother took his daughter
into her home and brought her up in a happy environment. She
became a teacher and had a family.
Written and submitted Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
Master Paintings from the Phillips Collection
Life or Look Magazine, dates unknown;
From the internet, artchive.com
"Look Him in the Face" by Suzanne Muchnic in Calendar section in Los Angeles Times, Sunday, June 22, 2003
Amedeo Modigliani was born on 12 July 1884 in Livorno. The serious illnesses he suffered during his childhood persisted throughout his life. At age fourteen he began to study painting. He first experimented with sculpture during the summer of 1902 and the following year attended the Regio Istituto di Belle Arti in Venice.
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Early in 1906 Modigliani went to Paris where he settled in Montmartre and attended the Académie Colarossi. His early work was influenced by Toulouse-Lautrec, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Gauguin and Cézanne. In the autumn of 1907 he met his first patron, Dr Paul Alexandre, who purchased works from him before World War I. Modigliani exhibited in the "Salon d'Automne" in 1907 and 1912 and in the "Salon des Indépendants" in 1908, 1910 and 1911. In 1909 Modigliani met Brancusi when both artists lived in Montparnasse.
From 1909 to 1915, he concentrated on sculpture but he also drew and painted to a certain extent. However, the majority of his paintings date from 1916 to 1919, Modigliani's circle of friends first consisted of Max Jacob, Lipchitz and the Portuguese, sculptor Amedeo, de Souza-Cardoso and later included Chaim Soutine, Maurice Utrillo, Jules Pascin, Foujita, Molise Kisling and the Sitwells.
His dealers were Paul Guillaume (1914-16) and Leopold Zborowski (by 1917). The only one-man show given the artist during his lifetime took place at the Galerie Berthe Weill in December 1917. In March 1917 Modigliani met Jeanne Hèbuterne who became his companion and model. From March or April 1918 until May 1919, they lived in the south of France, in both Nice and Cagnes.
Modigliani died in Paris on 24 January 1920.
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