Artist
Amedeo Modigliani
Italian painter and sculptor

Disclaimer

Images

We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.

Accuracy

Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.

Visits

If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Amedeo Modigliani
Italian painter and sculptor
0
Be the first to vote…

Birth Date

July 12, 1884

Death Date

January 24, 1920

ldare's picture

Sr. Editor

Amedeo Modigliani was a dirty hipster who thought Picasso should dress better. 

Modigliani grew up along the coast of Livorno, Italy and is said to be a descendant of the 17th-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza on his mother’s side.

His parents came from a fairly wealthy background. His mother, Eugénie Garsin, and her family ran a multi-national credit agency and his father, Flaminio’s family were savvy business investors in addition to running a mining and logging empire. No fortune is ever guaranteed and the Modigliani’s unfortunately lost most of theirs when the economy took a turn for the worse.

Modigliani was born during this dark time and was instrumental in preventing the absolute financial ruin of his family. An ancient law states that creditors can’t seize the bed of a pregnant woman or a mother with a newborn child. The feds arrived just as Eugénie went into labor and the family piled their most valued items on her bed.

His mother did as mothers do and made the best out of a bad situation using her many contacts to establish a rather successful school and reversing their bad luck.

Modigliani and his mother were exceptionally close. She homeschooled him until he was ten and cared for him through two bouts of pleurisy, typhoid fever, and tuberculosis. They even took a trip through southern Italy no doubt influencing his art studies. Amedeo was CLEARLY his mother’s favorite because she also took him on a separate trip to Florence because he asked to during a fever induced delirium.

Eugénie enrolled her son with the local master painter and he almost immediately rebelled. He tried all different styles like a dutiful student, but ultimately picked the least popular palette and style of the time. He did however, have a certain proclivity for nudes, an attractive option for a teenage boy. He was also easily distracted by a household maid spending most of his time seducing her. 

Modigliani moved to Venice to study nude portraiture, though he was more frequently found studying the finer aspects of hashish smoking and radical philosophers.

He next moved to Paris and attempted to downplay his family’s wealth while also being a judgey-mcjudgerson towards actually poor artists who couldn’t afford appropriate attire. When Modigliani first met Pablo Picasso, who was dressed in workmen’s clothes, he said that even though the man was a genius that did not excuse his uncouth appearance.

Paris, while a productive time for his new work, was not so great for Modigliani’s mental or physical well-being. He quickly delved deeper into drugs and alcohol and his snobbish views on attire took a complete 180. He even destroyed his older work saying they were ‘Childish baubles, done when I was a dirty bourgeois.’

Modigliani’s old respiratory issues returned and he masked his tuberculosis with more drugs and drinking obviously exacerbating the issue. He kept his illness hidden from friends as best he could, but how they didn’t notice something was wrong would be impressive especially since he would sometimes get so drunk he would run around naked.

In 1917, at the age of 33, he met the 19-year-old Jeanne Hébuterne. Their first child was born a year later. Jeanne was pregnant with their second child when Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis. Jeanne committed suicide the day after by jumping out of a window killing herself and their unborn child. They are now buried together in the Pére Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (Italian pronunciation: [ameˈdɛːo modiʎˈʎaːni]; 12 July 1884 – 24 January 1920) was an Italian Jewish painter and sculptor who worked mainly in France. He is known for portraits and nudes in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces, necks, and figures that were not received well during his lifetime but later found acceptance. Modigliani spent his youth in Italy, where he studied the art of antiquity and the Renaissance. In 1906 he moved to Paris, where he came into contact with such artists as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși. By 1912 Modigliani was exhibiting highly stylized sculptures with Cubists of the Section d'Or group at the Salon d'Automne.

Modigliani's œuvre includes paintings and drawings. From 1909 to 1914 he devoted himself mainly to sculpture. His main subject was portraits and full figures, both in the images and in the sculptures. Modigliani had little success while alive, but after his death achieved great popularity. He died of tubercular meningitis, at the age of 35, in Paris.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Amedeo Modigliani.