Biography

Biography

1884

Childhood

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani, also known by the nicknames of Modì and Dedo, was born in Livorno on 12 July 1884 from a Jewish family, the youngest of three sons and a daughter, his father Flaminio Modigliani from Livorno, descendant of a family originally from Rome, and the mother Eugénie Garsin, born in Marseille but from a Livorno family for several generations, both atheists. When Amedeo was born, the family went through a serious economic crisis because the father's business, agricultural and mining companies in Sardinia (especially in Buggerru, in the Grugua locality, in Sulcis-Iglesiente), went bankrupt. The Garsins financial situation was far from being also far from rosy. Above all, the mother's resourcefulness help the family's economic avoid collapsing—thanks to the income from the nursery and elementary school she founded, from private lessons and from translating and literary criticism. In addition, she is personally concerned with the education of her children.

1902

Studies between florence,
venice and paris

In 1902 Amedeo Modigliani enrolled in the “Free School of Nude Studies” in Florence and he moved to Venice a year later, where he attended the same school at the Institute for Fine Arts. Thanks to his uncle Amedeo Garsin, in 1906 Amedeo Modigliani found the money to move to Paris, the world headquarters of the artistic avant-gardes. He rented a studio in rue Caulaincourt, in Montmartre, and the following year he met the surgeon Paul Alexandre, who became his friend and collector. Modigliani enrolled in the Académie Colarossi but, in the "Butte" taverns—the most degreded part of the district—he found the real setting for discussions on art capable of presenting the new avant-gardes of the '900. He meets there Pablo Picasso, Andre Derain, Diego Rivera, Max Jacob, Jacques Lipchitz, Chaïm Soutine, the alcoholic painter Utrillo and the opium-addict baron Pigeard, who fatally opened him up to drugs and alcohol. He also met important writers and poets in Paris, such as Giuseppe Ungaretti and the painter Jeanne Hébuterne, who become his life partner as well as muse for his paintings.

1909

Passion for black sculpture and failures

In 1909 he met Constantin Brâncuşi, introduced by Paul Guillaume, a young and ambitious art dealer, who was interested in his black sculpture work. The friendship with Brâncuşi is also very important for the short-lived passion that Modigliani has for sculpture, archaic art and black art. A series of sculptures by Modigliani is exhibited at the Autumn Salon of 1912. Due to the dust generated by the sculpture, his tuberculosis got worse; he therefore abandoned sculpting—first that of limestone and then also that of wood—and solely focused on painting, thus producing a considerable amount of paintings, however he did not get any wealth from. His first solo exhibition took place in 1918 at the Weil Gallery, but his paintings (including "Nude with coral necklace", "Red nude") were judged indecent and consequently the exhibition was ordered to close.

1898

1898

Start of
Painting and disease

Since he was a child, Modigliani showed a great passion for drawing, filling pages and pages with sketches and portraits, leaving his relatives amazed; already in 1898, thanks to his mother, Eugenia Garsin, he attended the Guglielmo Micheli painter atelier—a pupil of the "macchiaiolo" Giovanni Fattori—one of the most prominent painters in Livorno, he learned his first painting notions from and where he met Fattori himself. Modigliani was thus influenced by the Macchiaioli movement, in particular by Fattori himself and by Silvestro Lega. At the end of 1900, he contracted the tuberculosis and was forced to move south, between Naples and Rome.

1902

1902

The modigliani style is born

He was initially influenced by the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, until Paul Cézanne changes his mind. Modigliani develops a unique style then: the originality of a creative genius, contemporary with the Cubist art movement, famous for its sensual female nudes and portraits characterised by stylised faces, elongated necks and often vacant or evasive expressions. Modigliani is famous for his quick way of working: it seems he completed a portrait in one or two sessions. Once finished, he never touched up his paintings. And yet, all those who posed for him said that being portrayed by Modigliani is like "having your soul undressed".

Biglietti

1920

1920

The tragic death

Modigliani, a bohémian artist, certainly enjoyed drinking and using harmful substances, thus compromising his ill-adjusted physical health already undermined by tuberculosis, which in fact leads him to death at the age of only thirty-five, right at the height of his success. One morning in January 1920 the tenant on the floor below checked the house and found Modigliani delirious in bed, surrounded by many opened cans of sardines and empty bottles, clinging to his Jeanne, almost in the ninth month of her second pregnancy. The doctor came, but there was little else to do, as Modigliani was in the throes of tuberculous meningitis. Hospitalised at the Hôpital de la Charité, delirious and surrounded by close friends and the tormented Jeanne, he died at dawn on January 24, 1920. A great funeral was then organised, attended by all the members of the artistic communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse. Jeanne Hébuterne, pregnant with her second child, had been taken to her parents' house and threw herself from the fifth floor window in the aftermath of Amedeo's death. Modigliani was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in the early afternoon of January 26th. Jeanne Hébuterne was buried the next day in the Parisian cemetery of Bagneux, near Paris, but only in 1930 her family, embittered at having her stealthily buried—just because they wanted to avoid further “scandals”—decided to let her remains rest next to the Modigliani’s.

The great consecration

The conception of his painting based on linear drawing, the archaic purity of his sculpture and the romantic and troubled life of misery and ailments, make Modigliani an exceptional personality in the modern art scenario, isolated from movements of contemporary taste (cubism, futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism), while operating in their same period. Today, Modigliani is universally regarded as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century and his works are exhibited in the largest museums of the world and sold in the most important Auction Houses.

Auction record awards

  1. 2 novembre 2010

    On November 2, 2010 in New York at Sotheby's with the nude "Nu assis
    sur un divan" (La Belle Romaine), painted in 1917
    , for a record amount of 68.96 million dollars

  2. 14 giugno 2010

    Viene venduta all'asta a Parigi da Christie's una delle sue sculture, "Tête de Caryatide", per la cifra record di 43,18 milioni di euro. La “Tête” venduta è del 1911-12 e appartiene a una rara serie di sculture scolpite nella pietra, raffiguranti dee di accattivante bellezza. Quasi delle immagini extraterrestri. L’artista ha liberato queste forme di teste femminili da blocchi di pietra rintracciati nei cantieri parigini. Di notte, Modigliani illuminava i suoi lavori a lume di candela, creando un alone sacrale intorno a queste figure potenti e incantevoli.

  3. 4 novembre 2014

    Presso Sotheby's a New York una "testa" del grande autore livornese è stata venduta all'asta per la cifra record di 70,725 milioni di dollari.

  4. 9 novembre 2015

    "Reclining Nude" was auctioned by Christie's in New York and purchased at 170,405 million dollars, after nine and a half minutes of millionaire biddings.

  5. 14 maggio 2018

    the 1917 masterpiece "Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)" was sold at Sotheby's. It is the most expensive painting ever awarded in an auction by the great British house, as well as the fourth most expensive work of art ever, sold for 157 million dollars. It is the largest in size of a series of female nudes created by Modigliani between 1916 and 1919 for the merchant and collector Zborowski, which caused a great scandal at the exhibition at the "Galerie Berthe Weill" in Paris, about a century ago. The result was a record for Sotheby's as the highest price ever reached for a painting. It makes Modigliani the first artist to have twice exceeded the threshold of $ 150 million in auction sales, conquering the fourth position among the most expensive works, after Leonardo, Picasso and the Nude of the Long Museum.

  1. 2 novembre 2010

    A New York da Sotheby's con il nudo "Nu assis sur
    un divan" (La Belle Romaine), dipinto nel 1917
    , per la cifra record di 68,96 milioni di dollari.

  2. 14 giugno 2010

    Viene venduta all'asta a Parigi da Christie's una delle sue sculture, "Tête de Caryatide", per la cifra record di 43,18 milioni di euro. La “Tête” venduta è del 1911-12 e appartiene a una rara serie di sculture scolpite nella pietra, raffiguranti dee di accattivante bellezza. Quasi delle immagini extraterrestri. L’artista ha liberato queste forme di teste femminili da blocchi di pietra rintracciati nei cantieri parigini. Di notte, Modigliani illuminava i suoi lavori a lume di candela, creando un alone sacrale intorno a queste figure potenti e incantevoli.

  3. 4 novembre 2014

    Presso Sotheby's a New York una "testa" del grande autore livornese è stata venduta all'asta per la cifra record di 70,725 milioni di dollari.

  4. 9 novembre 2015

    “Nudo sdraiato” è stato battuto all'asta da Christie's
    a New York e dopo nove minuti e mezzo di gara
    a colpi di rilanci milionari è stato acquistato per
    170,405 milioni di dollari.

  5. 14 maggio 2018

    ll capolavoro "Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)" del 1917 è stato
    venduto da Sotheby's. È il quadro più costoso mai assegnato
    in un'asta della grande casa britannica, nonché la quarta opera
    d'arte più cara di sempre, aggiudicata a 157 milioni di dollari.
    È il più grande, per dimensioni, di una serie di nudi femminili
    realizzata da Modigliani tra il 1916 e il 1919 per il mercante e
    collezionista Zborowski, che generarono grande scandalo alla
    mostra alla "Galerie Berthe Weill" di Parigi, circa un secolo fa.
    Il risultato costituisce inoltre un record per Sotheby’s come
    prezzo più alto mai raggiunto per un dipinto. E fa di Modigliani
    il primo artista ad aver superato per due volte la soglia dei 150
    milioni di dollari in aggiudicazioni d’asta, conquistando la
    quarta posizione tra le opere più costose, dopo Leonardo,
    Picasso e il Nudo del Long Museum.

@Copyright 2020 | All Rights Reserved
Fondazione Amedeo Modigliani

Sede legale Via Giuseppe Ferrari ,11
00195 Roma
codice fiscale: 96508230583
Fondazione di Partecipazione in
adeguamento al Codice del
Terzo Settore ETS

+39 339 6458520
+39 373 7491054

info@fondazioneamedeomodigliani.org
fondazioneamedeomodigliani@pec-legal.it

@Copyright 2020 | All Rights Reserved
Fondazione Amedeo Modigliani

Sede legale Via Giuseppe Ferrari ,11
00195 Roma
codice fiscale: 96508230583
Fondazione di Partecipazione in
adeguamento al Codice del
Terzo Settore ETS

+39 339 6458520
+39 373 7491054

info@fondazioneamedeomodigliani.org
fondazioneamedeomodigliani@pec-legal.it