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Modigliani Amedeo, Museum Fine Art Artist Biography

During the early 1900s in Paris, the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani, b. July 12, 1884, d. Jan. 24, 1920, developed a unique style. Today his graceful portraits and lush nudes at once evoke his name, but during his brief career few apart from his fellow artists were aware of his gifts. Modigliani had to struggle against poverty and chronic ill health, dying of tuberculosis and excesses of drink and drugs at the age of 35.

In 1906, Modigliani settled in Paris, where he encountered the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Rouault, and Pablo Picasso (in his "blue period") and assimilated their influence, as in The Jewess (1908; private collection, Paris). The strong influence of Paul Cezanne's paintings is clearly evident, both in Modigliani's deliberate distortion of the figure and the free use of large, flat areas of color.

His friendship with Constantin Brancusi kindled Modigliani's interest in sculpture, in which he would continue his very personal idiom, distinguished by strong linear rhythms, simple elongated forms, and verticality. Head (1912; Guggenheim Museum, New York City) and Caryatid (1914; Museum of Modern Art, New York City) exemplify his sculptural work, which consists mainly of heads and, less often, of full figures.

After 1915, Modigliani devoted himself entirely to painting, producing some of his best work. His interest in African masks and sculpture remains evident, especially in the treatment of the sitters' faces: flat and masklike, with almond eyes, twisted noses, pursed mouths, and elongated necks. Despite their extreme economy of composition and neutral backgrounds, the portraits convey a sharp sense of the sitter's personality, as in Moise Kisling (1915; private collection, Milan). A fine example of Modigliani's figure paintings is a reclining Nude (1917; Guggenheim Museum), an elegant, arresting arrangement of curved lines and planes as well as a striking idealization of feminine sexuality.


The portrait of the poetess Anna Akhmatova, drawn by Amedeo Modigliani in 1911 has been presented to Russia by the Swiss company Ruric.

According to Chairman of the companys management board Nils Nilsson, the work of art was purchased specially to be presented to Russia.

It is important for me to give something back to the country that gave me so much noted he.

The company Ruric bought the portrait of Anna Akhmatova from Paul Alexander Noel, the son of a friend of Modigliani. The portrait is a black pencil drawing 42,8 to 26,5 cm large.

Akhmatova met Modigliani in 1910 in Paris during her wedding tour. In 1911 the artist created the first 16 drawings, portraits of the Russian poetess.









Amedeo Modigliani. Anna Akhmatova. c. 1911. Pencil on paper. Apartment-Museum of Anna Akhmatova. St. Petersburg, Russia



Nude Anna Akhmatova I



Nude Anna Akhmatova II



Anna Akhmatova as Egyptian Goddess



Anna Akhmatova as Acrobat







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