The wonderful work of the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani

Currently London’s Tate Modern art gallery is hosting a special exhibition of around 100 portraits by the Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). I first saw this over the Christmas period with my brother and I visited it again today with my sister. Our mother was Italian and we had a reproduction of one of Modigliani’s work on one of our walls at home, so we all love his paintings.

In this review of the exhibition, Laura Cumming of the “Observer” newspaper describes the artist as “tubercular alcoholic, addicted to women, hash and ether, unrecognised, impoverished and dead at 35 with the last painting still wet on the canvas” .

Modigliani’s style is very distinctive and recognisable. Cumming refers to “the long, oval faces and almond eyes, the palette of pink, blue and chestnut, the tubular necks and curvilinear limbs, all that grace and sorrow compounded by the artist’s own tragic existence” and writes of “the basic grammar of ovals, arcs, cupid-bow lips and circumflex nose”.

You can learn about the life and work of Modigliani here.


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