#104/365 – Modigliani


Amedeo Clemente Modigliani
Born 12th July 1884 – Died 24th January 1920


Tragically, Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis on the 24th January 1920, aged just 35.

What is equally as tragic is that his wife, and muse, Jeanne Hébuterne, was so devastated that the following day she threw herself from the 5th floor of her parents’ home, killing herself and her unborn second child.

Fortunately, their first child, Jeanne Modigliani (1918 – 1984), was adopted by Amedeo’s sister and was brought up in Florence, Italy.

Jeanne Hébuterne

Jeanne Hébuterne

Jeanne Modigliani, daughter.

Jeanne Modigliani, daughter.

I was first introduced to Modigliani’s work by my mate, Markham, who very kindly gave me a sumptuously framed print of this piece…

Seated Nude

Seated Nude

As you can see, Modigliani was very heavily influenced by African masks and sculpture, creating elongated forms and mask-like faces.

He died a pauper. But, as is the way of the world, in 2010 “La belle Romaine” sold for $69 million.

His work inspired me to write a short story, and subsequent screenplay, entitled: “Jeanne, reclining nude, 1917”, about a First World War veteran recuperating in the South of France after losing his left hand.

It isn’t a biographical piece, but moreover, explores the themes of physical and emotional cripples when he begins a relationship with his prostitute model.

Jeanne Hébuterene

Jeanne Hébuterene

Lunia Czechovska

Lunia Czechovska

Leopold Zborowski II

Leopold Zborowski II


Reclining Nude


He was an extremely prolific artist, so if you get the chance to see any of his work in the flesh, I urge you to do so.


Jeanne Hébuterne

Jeanne Hébuterne

Reclining Nude with Loose Hair

Reclining Nude with Loose Hair







Filed under Art, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Inspiration

5 responses to “#104/365 – Modigliani

  1. Such a tragedy to see two humans cut off in their prime and still with so much to give to the world. People so often describe the old days as “good”, romanticising the time before antibiotics were around to save lives.
    These are wonderful paintings. I love their simplicity, earthiness, and richness of tones.

    • I certainly is, Sarah. There’s one of his portraits in my local gallery in Manchester and it’s a real treat just to sit in front of it for a while. He went through a period when he ‘knocked out’ quite a few to make some money. In those full length paintings you’ll notice a lot of them don’t have hands or feet. (They’re hidden.) As they’re very tricky to paint.

      I agree about the simplicity. I think they appeal to the graphic designer in me. Glad you like them.

  2. Thanks for the introduction, David.

  3. Beautiful paintings, so sad. A master of placement but also love his earthy colours.

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