Friday, July 20, 2012

Tormented Art

Amedeo Modigliani  (July 12, 1884 – January 24, 1920) wasn't an extraordinary painter or sculptor. What made his work famous is the story behind the art

I never knew of Modigliani until I saw Andy Garcia play a fictionalized account of his life in the film Modigliani. In the film Modigliani is an up and coming Italian painter who becomes the art rival of then famous Pablo Picasso. He battles with canvas, Picasso, addiction and his love of women. My favorite line from the film is also the best description of the artist. "Why must you suffer for your art Mo, when all you have to do is paint." 

Afterwards I researched Modigliani and found his real history far more interesting than the movie. Modigliani made tormented art. He suffered and lived with illness his entire life. He was born into a wealthy Italian Jewish family who were well established in their community. Modigliani contracted pleurisy when he was 11, then a few years later caught typhoid fever. When he was 16, he contracted tuberculosis which later claimed his life at 35

During his brief career Modigliani was a man obsessed with art. He would sometimes do up to 100 sketches in a day. He loved alcohol, drugs and women just as much so he was often homeless and broke. During those low periods he would sell sketches and paintings for necessities, so the majority of his work is lost history.

The art that remains has become far more famous than Modigliani dreamed. He was a talented, drug addict who only managed one art show in his entire career. Back in 2010 a series of his paintings from 1917 sold for over 68 million dollars. A testament that his art was before his time

Below are some paintings from Amedeo Modigliani, the man, myth and legend. If you would like to see more of his work click the link: Modigliani Gallery.

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