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Amedeo Modigliani

Modigliani, Amedeo (ämādĕˈō mōdēlyäˈnē) [key], 1884–1920, Italian painter, b. Livorno. In Paris after 1906, Modigliani first worked as a sculptor and was influenced by the works of Constantin Brancusi, cubism, and African art. Soon, however, he developed a unique style in painting, creating sensuous nudes and singular portraits characterized by an elongation of form, a purity of line, a sense of sculptural mass, and a languorous atmosphere reminiscent of Florentine mannerism. Although known to other artists and many Parisian intellectuals, he remained largely unknown to the public during his short life, which was one of poverty, dissipation, and disease. Shortly after his death from tuberculosis, his portraits and figure studies became highly prized by collectors. Modigliani is particularly well represented in the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

See biographies by W. Fifield (1978) and M. Secrest (2011); studies by J. Modigliani (1958), J. T. Soby (1963), A. Werner (1967), C. Mann (1985), A. S. Pfannsteil and B. Schuster (1986), A. Kruszynski (1996), D. Autkrystof (2000), K. Wayne (2002), M. Restilinni (2003), and M. Klein et al. (2004).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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