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Amedeo Modigliani- The Famous Artist

Amadeo Modigliani  ,the Italian artist (July 12, 1884–January 24, 1920) is well known for his portraits and nudes, which featured elongated faces, necks, and bodies.

The distinctly modernist works weren’t celebrated during his lifetime, but after his death, he achieved great acclaim. Now a days Modigliani is considered as a crucial figure in the development of modern painting and sculpture.

Amedeo Modigliani

Early Life and Training

He was born into a Sephardic Jewish family in Italy and grew up in Livorno, a port city known as a safe haven for those fleeing religious persecution.

His family suffered financially at the time of his birth, but they eventually recovered.

His health was poor since childhood. He battled pleurisy and typhoid fever. However, he began drawing and painting at an early age, and his mother always supported his interests.

When he was  14 years old, Modigliani enrolled in formal training with local Livorno master Guglielmo Micheli.

Modigliani sometimes  rejected the ideas of classical painting, but instead of disciplining his pupil, Micheli encouraged his’s experimentation with different styles. Two years later ,his success as a student, Modigliani contracted tuberculosis, which disrupted his artistic education and perhaps his entire life’s trajectory: a mere 19 years later, the disease would claim his life.

Move to Paris

Modigliani moved to Paris in 1906. He settled in an apartment in Le Bateau-Lavoir, as a struggling artists. Modigliani became addicted to drugs and alcohol and engaged in numerous affairs.

It is said that Modigliani’s ongoing struggle with tuberculosis spurred his self-destructive lifestyle. In the begining of 1900, tuberculosis was a leading cause of his death, and the disease was contagious.

Amedeo Modigliani shielded himself from potential social rejection as well as the suffering caused by his illness.


Modigliani produced so many new work .He created approximately 100 drawings a day. Most of his drawings no longer exist, however, as Modigliani typically destroyed or discarded them during his frequent moves.

Modigliani met Paul Alexandre in 1907 . Paul Alexandre  was a young physician and patron of the arts, who became one of his first steady customers. 

Modigliani first painting , The Jewess, painted in 1907 purchased by Alexandre, and is considered one of the prime examples of Modigliani’s work during the period.

After few years, Modigliani’s most productive period began. Modigliani made  a series of 30 nudes that became some of the most celebrated work of his career.

 The nudes became a sensation. It was said that police tried to close the exhibition down on the first day due to charges of public obscenity. With the removal of some of the nudes from a storefront window, the show continued a few days later. 

Modigliani created numerous portraits of fellow artists including Pablo Picasso while World War I raged in Europe.

After making a good relationship with Jeanne Hebuterne in the spring of 1917, Modigliani entered the final stage of his work.

Modigliani’s  created portraits of Jeanne Hebuterne are considered as  his most relaxed, peaceful paintings.  

Sculpture Making

Amedeo Modigliani met the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi in 1909. That  inspired Modigliani to pursue his interest in sculpture. He focused on sculpting for the next 5 years.

A  Paris exhibition in 1912, at the Salon d’Automne featured eight stone heads by Modigliani. They demonstrate the artist’s  ability to translate ideas from his paintings to a three-dimensional form. They were  influenced  from African sculpture. 

Last Life and Death

Modigliani suffered from tuberculosis throughout his adult life. After so many affairs and relationships, including one with Russian poet Anna Akhmatova in 1910, he appeared to live a life of relative contentment with 19-year-old Jeanne Hebuterne in 1917. She gave birth to a daughter, Jeanne, in 1918.

In 1920, a neighbor saw Modigliani in the final stages of tubercular meningitis. He succumbed to the disease in a local hospital on January 24, 1920. At the time of Modigliani’s death, Hebuterne was eight months pregnant with the couple’s second child; she did by suicide the following day.


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