Amedeo Clemente Modigliani

1884, Livorno (Italy) – 1920, Paris (France)

Born into an Italian bourgeois family, Amedeo Modigliani was partly raised by his grandfather, Isaac Garsin, a prominent and erudite figure.

– 1899: he abandons his studies to take up painting.

– 1906: he arrives in Paris, a decisive act in his career as here he meets the founders of modern art movement, the leading lights of the avant-garde including Pablo Picasso, who will invent Cubism with Georges Braque; the painter André Derain, a leading collector of what was then called «negro art»; and Guillaume Apollinaire, poet and art critic with an unerring eye. Modigliani’s first few years in Paris are marked by a search for a style in his sculpture that combines elements of cubism and references to more remote expressions of Khmer, Egyptian or African art.

– 1914: In fragile health, Amedeo Modigliani abandons sculpting and continues to work on two-dimensional portraits.

– 1917: he sets up house with Jeanne Hébuterne, an art student who becomes his main model. The same year, his first exhibition is held at the Berthe Weill gallery. The nudes are greeted by outrage and threatened with seizure by the police.

– 1918: with his health deteriorating, he goes to the South of France to rest and his palette becomes softer. Here he produces the only four landscapes he was known to have painted.

– 1919: his exhibition at the Hill Gallery in London is met with great acclaim.

Today, his work is represented in leading modern art collections around the world.