Monday, January 19, 2009

I Dig Modigliani

I recently mentioned that I would love to see some original Modigliani paintings and a couple of you confessed that you had never heard of him. I didn't mean to name drop, so let me introduce you to a few of my favorite paintings of his.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) is know primarily for his portraits and nudes. His interest in African masks, primitives and sculpture can be seen in the way he rendered his subject matter. Although, his portraits are simple and seem to follow a type of formula, they express the model's individual personality very well.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Portrait of Paul Guillaume 1916

Woman of Algiers 1917

Portrait of Leopold Zborowski 1916-1917

Portrait of a Girl (Victoria) 1916

Juan Gris 1915

Young Red Head in an Evening Dress 1918

Woman with a Black Cravat 1917

Jacques Lipchitz and his Wife 1917

The French art critic Jean Cassou said that "style is the greatest revelation of the art of Modigliani." The background colors, the detail, and the clothes are of secondary importance. It is the person in the portrait, the startling real emotion, the glow that seems to come from within, the simple elegance of line and shape, that capture the viewer's attention and make Modigliani a great master.

I never tire of looking at his paintings and would love to have the opportunity to see a "real" one someday. I'd love to study the texture, see all the lines and the colors.

A few years ago I decided to paint Rachel (my daughter) in the style of Modigliani as much as I was able. It was a challenge for me to try and break down her features into a more simple form, but yet capture her essence. I don't know that I succeeded in that, but I like the painting anyway.

And here is a fabric ATC, I made and traded a couple of years ago, of Leopold Zborowski.

I hope you've enjoyed your virtual museum tour.


  1. I think I've mentioned before how much your art reminds me of his. Have you seen the Andy Garcia film?

  2. Willow, I did see the film. I thought it was really well done.

    Thank you for the compliment. If my art reminds you of his any at all, it is probably because I've spent so much time thinking about how he saw people. You know I love drawing faces.

  3. Modigliani certainly had a unique style. Thanks for showing some of his paintings (it's all history you know). I'm prejudice, though, and like your style better. It's quite distinctive and always makes me smile. :o) ♥ ∞

  4. This is a very informative post. Thank you so much for enlightening us.

    I love the portrait of your daughter. I don't know if it captures her essence but it sure makes her look alive and beautiful.

  5. I love this painter's work also. I agree, this does remind me of your work. I must take a picture of my mother-in-law's painting of my father-in-law. It really reminds me of this style. My mother-in-law was such an artist. I miss her so much. She was one of the kindest people I have ever met.

  6. Yes, your style does resemble his... although his work, I believe, is more, ummm, crooked!

  7. Yes, more crooked as Modgirl says! :) Thanks for the tour..very fun!

  8. Interesting! He definitely has influenced your art.

  9. Hmmm... Ok, so you are going to roll your eyes and think I'm sucking up, but I like yours better. His noses are all so long and crooked! Your painting of your daughter is precious. And I like your Leopold quite a lot too!

  10. I missed this post yesterday! Your pictures are wonderful! You certainly did capture the essence of your daughter - and yourself in the portrait.

  11. There's something a little Louis Jourdan-ish about his photo. A bit of the dreamy eyed romantic about him. Although he's not one of my favourite painters, I do enjoy looking at his work. He had such a bold command of colour. Your efforts after his style are marvelous!~

  12. how great arts these are. wonderful work . excellent arts you post in your blog.

  13. Great post! I love your painting of Rachel. You are an amazing artist Stevie!

  14. NICE virtual museum tour... love his work! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Hey, thanks for putting my blog info in your blog! I also dig Modigliani, love the long narrow nose!

  16. Thank you dear steviewren for this tour! I am having a wonderful time learning more about art and artists! In your honor I was watching for any Modigliani while at the Met museum recently and I wouldn't have looked out for them if it wasn't for you! I Love the painting of your daughter - and yes you can see the influence..

  17. I like Modigliani's, Girl With Red Hair. Lovely gallery Stevie. I'm with Willow - your work is very like his.



I'm glad you stopped by and I look forward to your comments. As Dr. Fraser Crane would say, "Hello, I'm listening."