Classic Artist of the Week #12 - Amedeo Modigliani

A man is being born in a wealthy family. Sickly, introvert child with a passion of painting, in his agony dreaming about seeing the Renaissance masters. Yet, contrary to all common sense, he recovers, grows up, travels around the Europe. Learns, creates, meets famous of his time and tries to mask his disease by heavy alcohol and drug use. Then, the man creates more, the he destroys. Becomes unstable both physically and mentally. Becomes the legend of Parisian Montmartre - stripping naked on tables, having multiple affairs, creating misunderstood art and drinking himself into oblivion. He dies young. Only to be globally recognized several years later as one of the greatest artist of his time. Meet Amedeo Modigliani.

Modigliani died in 1920, 35 years old because of his livelong tuberculosis - the AIDS of early XX century. Popular, incurable, lethal. His artworks often reflect his doomed state. In many "styles" he painted in you can see something more than paint on canvas. You see these people, in many ways deformed, as they were. You can feel their smile and hear them laugh, just like Modigliani laughed trying to fight mortality, to run away from death. His paintings are not intellectual analysis, like Picasso's works, they are more spiritual than that. The pictures capture the essence of the moment, the short spell of happiness that happened one hundred years ago.

I think that the sickness made Modigliani realize how fragile the human life is and he was devoted to capturing it. His vagabond life was just a pleasant mask. We might have nuclear power plants and i Phones but we - people - still need to pay attention to the short moments that put together we call life.

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