Amedeo Modigliani [1884 – 1920]

Self Portrait
Italian Jewish painter and sculptor

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani

was born,
July 12, 1884,
into a Sephardic Jewish family in Livorno, Italy.

A painter very dear to me, Modigliani is known for his portraits and nudes with elongated faces and bodies and the ‘blank’ eyes. His own words about the eyes give a perspective of those ‘blank eyes’:

“With one eye you are looking at the outside world, while with the other you are looking within yourself.”

His favorite subject was by far the human form. Modigliani spent his youth in Italy, where he studied the art of antiquity and the Renaissance. In 1906 he moved to Paris, where he came into contact with artists such as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși. By 1912 Modigliani was exhibiting highly stylized sculptures with Cubists of the Section d’Or group at the Salon d’Automne. From 1909 to 1914 he devoted himself mainly to sculpture.
Sadly, Modigliani had little success while alive, but after his death achieved great popularity. He died of tubercular meningitis, at the age of 35, in Paris. The legend of his troubled life and early demise – and the subsequent suicide of his young fiancée, Jeanne Hébuterne – has tended to overshadow his significant artistic achievement.
The Tate, has a brilliant article about Modigliani titled “Five Things to Know – Meet the Italian artist whose iconic portraits captured the face of early twentieth century Paris”. it’s worth a read:

So here’s a glimpse of his work & words
Buste de femme

“I would like my life to be like a rich river flowing joyfully on Earth”

Bride and Groom
Dedie Hayden

“When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes”

Gypsy Woman with Baby
Iris Tree

“The whole world is beautiful, the art is in the seeing.”

Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz

“It is your duty in life to save your dream.”

Jean Cocteau

“Rome is not outside me, but inside me.. Her feverish sweetness, her tragic countryside, her own beauty and harmony, all these are mine, for my thought and my work.”

Junge Frau im Hemd
Léon Indenbaum

“With one eye you are looking at the outside world, while with the other you are looking within yourself.”

Nu couché
Paul Guillaume, Novo Pilota

“What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.”

Portrait of a Young Woman
Portrait of Beatrice Hastings

“Happiness is an angel with a serious face”

Portrait of Blaise Cendrars
Portrait of Chaim Soutine

“The function of art is to struggle against obligation.”

Portrait of Juan Gris
Seated Nude
Portrait of Leopold Zborowski

“You are not alive unless you know you are living.”

Portrait of Madame Reynouard
Portrait of Maude Abrantes

“Every great work of art should be considered like any work of nature. First of all from the point of view of its aesthetic reality and then not just from its development and the mastery of its creation but from the standpoint of what has moved and agitated its creator.”

Portrait of Mrs. van Muyden
Reclining Nude from the Back
Portrait of Pablo Picasso

“I want to be a tuneswept fiddle string that feels the master melody, and snaps.”

Portrait of Paulette Jourdain
Reclining Nude
The Little Peasant
Seated Nude 1918
Woman with a Fan (Lunia Czechowska)
Portrait of Léopold Zborowski
Madame Kisling

Portraits of Jeanne Hébuterne

Modigliani’s fiancée, a painter herself, took her own life two days after Modigliani died, throwing herself out of the fifth-floor apartment window. Today, they rest together at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Her epitaph reads: “Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice.” She was his favorite model
A portrait of Modiglianni, by Jeanne Hébuterne





Accompanied by a work for solo piano written in 1884 [the year Modigliani was born] by

César Franck

Prelude, Chorale and Fugue, FWV 21

performed by

Sviatoslav Richter

For more information on Modigliani:


Be Safe 🏡

43 replies »

  1. Modigliani’s work is very compelling. He seems to have looked into the souls of his subjects and captured them on canvas. In some instances, I don’t think he liked what he saw.

    “It is your duty in life to save your dream.” Yes!!

  2. I adore this artist! We have a print of one of his works, framed in our bedroom. It belonged to Norm’s mom. The print is about 50 years old. It is not one of the pieces I see here today, but I see it every morning when I wake up. I see it, and I see your calendar. You are in very good company in my home.

    The portrait of Modiglianni, by Jeanne Hébuterneis phenomenal. She was immensely talented.
    When I was around 35, the doctors thought I had ovarian cancer. I had an operation, and mercifully it was something else. However, N & I decided to commit suicide together, if it was true, and I was dying.
    Undying love is a strong, poignant emotion.
    The music is perfect! Will post as soon as it is finished playing!

    • Ah, thank you, Mary Jo! I’m really enjoying these. Diving into the works of such talents is exhilarating and at the same time encouraging as humanity is taking such a downfall…
      Happy Wednesday with many hugs your way! xoxoxo

  3. I’ve never seen so many works by Modigliani all at once. Some I knew but most I didn’t. I don’t recall if I’d seen a photograph (as opposed to a painting) of Jeanne Hébuterne. Also new to me was the piece by Franck (whose name means ‘free’), which I much enjoyed.

    The statement “You are not alive unless you know you are living” is open to discussion. We would say an amoeba is alive, but does it know that it is? Elephants seem to mourn their dead, yet does that imply that they know they themselves are alive?

    • I’m glad I introduced works you hadn’t seen before. I didn’t know Franck means ‘free’ … new to me! 😉
      On his statement… he’s not with us to explain what he meant but yep, it’s a long conversation. I do believe though that all sentient beings know they are living. Us humans sometimes fail to do that while living in the past or planning how to live in the future. 😉

      • The composer’s name is the same as the English adjective frank. The first two definitions in the 1913 Webster’s Dictionary were:

        Unbounded by restrictions, limitations, etc.; free.
        Free in uttering one’s real sentiments; not reserved; using no disguise; candid; ingenuous; as, a frank nature, conversation, manner, etc.

  4. Fabulous addition to the series. Does your mind ever play tricks? Mine does every single time I see the name Modigliani – for some unexplained reason I see that name and my mind transposes it into Moreau (i.e. Gustavo Moreau) – So I excitedly opened the post expecting something else 😂😂😂. I wasn’t disappointed – I just had to do a mental reset. LOL! Still, this post is a wonderful highlight on Modigliani – Keep up the great work. I look forward to the next artist installment 👏👏👏😊🌹❤️

    • Moreau…. an artist I missed his birthday [it was about that time I began taking these artist journeys and wasn’t quite ‘organized’]. Yes, I know what you mean. I get that too sometimes!🤣
      Thank you so much! I’m so happy you’re enjoying these!🙏
      Next one is a painter with no talent at all, he simply couldn’t draw a line…. Rembrandt! 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣 [Wednesday 15]
      Have a lovely week, my friend! 🙂

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