Presentation of Modigliani
This painter artist and sculptor was particularly interested in painting portraits and nudes. These paintings were sober, simple and very expressive. He was often decried because of his creations and his way of life, which earned him the nickname "cursed painter" of Parisian bohemia.
His childhood and beginnings
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884 in Rome. Livorno (Sicily).
Health de Modigliani was very fragile, he suffered from pleurisy in 1895 then suffered from typhoid in 1898. He would have started to suffer from typhoid in 1898. He started drawing after his pleurisy and then asked to take drawing lessons.
He has little appetite for school and aspires to be a professional artist. become an artist. His mother let him leave high school to join the Academy of Fine Arts and Guglielmo Micheli in April 1899. Modigliani then discovered the art of the nude as well as artistic movements such as the Italian Gothic painting, Tuscan art and the Renaissance.
He fell ill again the following year and left in 1901 to take a trip convalescence. He made numerous discoveries, including Impressionism and Expressionism, during his stays in Paris. Naples, Capri, Amalfi, Rome, Florence and Venice.
He visited museums, art galleries and churches there. This reinforces his idea of continuing down this path. It was also during this period that he discovered the art of sculpture which would fascinate him until the end of his career. the end of his life.
In 1902, he enrolled in the Free School of Nu within the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, thus joining his friend Oscar Ghiglia. These three Venetian years allowed him to meet Ortiz de Zarate, who introduced him to artists such as Paul Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec and makes him want to leave for Paris.
The Parisian years
Upon his arrival, in January 1906, he settled in Paris. Montmartre, near the Bateau-Lavoir. This city d'artistes is then the place of creations for painters such as Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso or even Diego Rivera. Modigliani will create portraits of the artists he meets there.
His friend Léopold Zborowski helps him to do this. sell a few paintings, but Modigliani does not manage to do so. get out of poverty. From 1909 to 1914, thanks to his neighbor Constantin Brancusi, he decided to devote himself to sculpture, but this experience is, apart from At the time, considered a failure. His poor health and his lack of means force him to take action. give up. He starts again; painting in 1914.
In 1917 he met the woman who would become his wife, Jeanne Hébuterne. He painted 25 portraits of her. These latter are today considered the most beautiful of his works. The same year, he exhibited a series of nude paintings. This caused a scandal, partly because he represented women's pubic hairs. In 1918, he became a father and began to work. met with some success, but he was caught up in his career. by his demons.
Modigliani died on January 24, 1920 in Paris. Paris from tuberculous meningitis. His wife, then pregnant, committed suicide 2 days later.
The art of Modigliani
As a painter, Modigliani was inspired by of different movements including expressionism, fauvism and cubism. In 1905, he broke away from it to create his own style, inspired by primitive arts and modern art.
Amedeo Modigliani mainly painted nudes and portraits. His paintings present little decoration and a great simplification thanks to rapid contours and the presence of few elements.
If he drew his project on a sheet, this artist then applied his flat areas of color directly to his canvas. These were limited to; a palette of earth tones, browns and reds. He then added fine lines and strong lines to delineate the surfaces.
The inspiration of Sandro Botticelli and his search for beauty was the result of his work. ideally make him paint, oil, characters with very particular characteristics: an elongated neck; and a long nose, almond-shaped eyes, often asymmetrical. The eyes are often empty. He only painted them when he felt he knew the soul of the person. His approach to volumes was influenced by his practice of sculpture and by Cézanne, who worked on them with color.
For a long time he was an artist. said that he painted in an impulsive, messy and sloppy manner, but studies of his paintings have shown that he was a meticulous artist, perfectly mastering the use of colors.
Amedeo Modigliani has always considered that sculpture was his true profession. He devoted himself to it from 1909 to 1914. The price of stone, its health fragile, as well as the criticism of the artists around him, led him to a serious decision. abandon this art in favor of painting. Considering himself to be a syncretic sculptor, his style is reminiscent of both the mannerism of the Renaissance and the Early Arts. He achieved faces of women with the same characteristics as his portraits: necks, faces and elongated bodies. He would not have realized only 30 sculptures, the majority in limestone blocks recovered from construction sites.
His major works
- Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne (1919): this painting belonging to the expressionist movement represents his wife, then pregnant.
- Nude lying down (1917): this painting of a brunette woman, naked and reclining, is still censored today. in some countries. The model's position and depiction of her pubic hair were considered provocative.
- Head of a woman ( 1912): This sculpture is inspired by primitive arts, African masks, but is also close to the aesthetics of Botticelli. li>
Amedeo Modigliani was not recognized during his lifetime and was often described as a not very meticulous painter and as an alcoholic. It would take several decades for his genius as a painter and sculptor to be recognized widely. its fair value. Today his paintings sell for several million euros