Modigliani: an exhibition celebrates the cursed artists
A few days ago, in Milan, at the Royal Palace, opened the exhibition “Modigliani, Soutine and the cursed artists. The Netter’s collection”. The exhibition showcases over 120 artists who lived the golden age of painting in Montparnasse, at the beginning of the last century.
The italian Amedeo Modigliani stands out among the hosted artists. His elongated women, without eyes, similar to archaic gods, are among the most amazing and loved artistic creations of the 20th century.
Born on July 12, 1884, Modigliani is the fourth child of a Jewish family on the verge of a financial crisis. Desiring to become an artist, in 1896 he moves to Paris. The beating heart of modernity, the teeming city where the most important artistic avant-garde is spreading, la Ville Lumiere represents a turning point. Here he is influenced by Fauvism, Cubism and Brancusi’s sculpture.
His works revolve mostly around the body, particularly the female body, a real obsession to him. Nevertheless, his paintings do not sell and are underrated. Phthisical since he was young, Modigliani lives a life of hardship that the disease worsens further. The opium and alcohol abuse aggravates his physical and mental state already exhausted. Towards the beginning of 1910, he meets Soutine, who becomes his friend.
Despite his very poor physical condition he completes the series of “long-necked women”, an hallmark of his style. Around 1915 Leopold Zborowski offers him 15 francs per day in order to get the exclusive rights on his production. His life gets a little better now and from the relationship with Jeanne Hebuterne a baby is born. But Modigliani’s last years are tragic. On the evening of 24 January 1920 the worsening tuberculosis puts an end to his life. The next day, Jeanne, pregnant again, unable to bear the grief, commits suicide jumping from a window.