Modigliani - the artist of the bohemian life in Paris at the beginning of the 20th century

Seated woman in a Blue Dress, 1918
The Ateneum art museum in the middle of Helsinki offers very good international exhibitions besides its own collections based on Finnish art.

You can often see interesting art by big names of art history. One of the best exhibition I ever seen in Ateneum was Pablo Picasso’s huge exhibition in 2012.

Now we can admire the art by the Italian painter and sculptor  Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) until 5th February.

Besides the art the exhibition tells about the short life of the artist. He died at the early age of 35.
What you perhaps remember best of Modigliani’s art are the very special portraits with their angular face, almond-shaped eyes and long necks and hands.
Modigliani, photo by Marc Vaux. 

At total there are 83 paintings, sculptures and paper-based works on display.

Modigliani moved to Paris in 1906. He was interested in the art of Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Paul Gauguin. He also admired and studied non-European and ancient art.

Russian poet Anna Akhamtova (1889-1966) was one of his models. Modigliani did not however draw or paint directly using models, instead creating his works from memory.

In Saint Petersburg in the domestic museum of Anna Akhamtova you’ll find one of the drawings made by Modigliani. There were many others but they were destroyed during Soviet times under the state control.

The Montparnasse in Paris became the center of  the international art world before the First World War. 
Modigliani’s paintings reveal the diversity of Montparnasse’s bohemian life. He was fond of depicting bohemian and androgynous characters, seeing them as fascinating individuals.

The sad side of Modigliani’s life was that he had many illnesses and when he died he was practically penniless. During his lifetime he only held one solo exhibition, which caused a lot of controversy. Now his art is sold for record-high prices.
Posters in the exhibition.

Portrait of a Young Woman, 1916-1919


Raimondo, 1915.


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