joy magnetism: The prey of great powers*




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Friday, September 9, 2011

The prey of great powers*

Magnet #1295 - Amedeo Modigliani

Another from my great artists magnet set. Amedeo Modigliani was Italian, and worked mainly in France - as near as I can tell, his telltale artistic style was mostly notable for elongated faces, seen here.

I won't lie, I had never heard of the artist before last fall. That's when one of his nudes sold at Sotheby's for $68 million, the same price as my 23-story pre-war apartment building, with like 400 units. That's when I started to pay attention to him in the galleries. After all, if you can command that sort of price tag, it's definitely well worth a peek in the museums, no?

Turns out that Modigliani has a rather sad, sad story, never making that much of a success of himself while he was alive, selling pictures here and there, with at least one small exhibition. In the end, he died of tubercular meningitis, which wasn't helped by his propensity for overwork, and oh, that addiction to drugs and alcohol.

(The story's much, much sadder than that, but you should look it up, since I can't believe how sad the story ends, the least of which is a $68 million sale he'd never see.)

*From one of Modigliani's letters to a friend
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