Volume 41 Issue 1, January 2008

Volume 41 Issue 1

Amedeo Modigliani – Retrato de Leopold Zborowski, 1917. Modigliani was born in 1884 into a Jewish family who had arrived in Livorno, Italy, in the eighteenth century as religious refugees. He was educated at home by his mother who, despite misgivings about him following an artistic career, enrolled him in 1898 with a local painting master, where he showed great promise. He developed a lifelong infatuation with life drawing, and explored radical philosophies such as those of Nietzsche, developing the belief that the only route to true creativity was through defiance and disorder. Among other influences were the sculptor Brancusi, the painters Cezanne and Toulouse-Lautrec, and primitive art from Africa and Cambodia. In 1906 he moved to Paris and lived a bohemian life in a Montmartre commune. Polish poet Leopold Zborowski became his friend and art dealer in 1916. In 1920 Modigliani died of tuberculous meningitis exacerbated by poverty, overwork, and excessive use of alcohol and narcotics, after producing some of the most compelling, unique and delicately stylized works of art of his generation.

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