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: Catalogue: Amedeo Modigliani's Nude


Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr III



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
When Modigliani moved to Paris in 1906 he did not reject his Italian heritage. The inherent classicism of his native land went through a partial change, however, due to his rapid involvement in the avant-garde. He found Cézanne's concern with solidity compatible with his own artistic background and learned from him as well as from the color of van Gogh. Combining these with elements drawn from primitive art, the cubism of Braque and Picasso, the example of Brancusi, Modigliani formed his own distinctive style. His figures have a melancholy, languorous quality. They reflect his own introversion which he submerged in a tumultuous life of drugs, liquor and love affairs.Although he occasionally painted landscapes, Modigliani's usual subject was portraiture. Our painting illustrates his best portrait style. The compact form is contained by a typically elongated, lyrical line. The color is strikingly direct and unorthodox—totally red. The painting also differs from many of Modigliani's nudes in that the sensual is not overly emphasized.Referenced Work of Art
  1. Amedeo Modigliani, Italian, 1884-1920. Nude, 1915 (Portrait in Red). Oil on paper, 14 1/2" x 10 1/2". Signed and dated right center: Modigliani 1915. Accession 61.36.22.CollectionsCésar M. de Hauke, New York; P. D. McMillan, Minneapolis, 5 July, 1955; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Bequest of Putnam Dana McMillan, 15 November, 1961.
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Source: Goldthwaite Higginson Dorr III, "Catalogue: Amedeo Modigliani's Nude," <i>The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin</i> 50, no. 4 (December, 1961): 46-47.
Rights: ©MIA
Added to Site: March 10, 2009