Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Amedeo Modigliani ( July 12, 1884)

Was Modigliani's Sephardic Jewish heritage important to him? His family belonged to the Sephardic elite: he was born in Livorno, Italy, a Sephardic center. Modigliani left home for the art world in Paris, where he received little recognition for his now-iconic paintings. At first he managed to live well, using family resources, but slowly descended into poverty, drug-taking, and desperation. He had been infected with TB since childhood, and became more and more ill, no doubt made worse by his bohemian environment. All the time, he continued to paint and create the works that he's now so respected for. Although Jewish advocates try to place his art in some kind of Jewish framework, I suspect that he was simply a secular Jew in the Paris art world.

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