With a single, elegantly light line Amedeo Modigliani sketches the face and character of Madame Van Muyden, one of the many female figures he portrayed. Modigliani’s sensitivity in depicting the attitude and personality of his models is always surprising, even in the extreme synthesis of the forms with which he captures their appearance. Modigliani struggled to paint landscapes, as landscapes do not have eyes. It is in visual contact, in personal knowledge that he founded his art. Long necks, eyes without pupils, the essential forms of his figures have made history. They mix cultures and knowledge and are undoubtedly the result of this artist’s Italian training, his encounter with the Parisian avant- garde of the early twentieth century and with African art, a source of inspiration for many artists of his generation.
Modigliani was born in Livorno but lived in Paris. He was a character with a fictional, bizarre biography which has often been described in literature and cinema. Modigliani is an independent artist, impossible to define within a movement or artistic current. In his creative independence, he found a distinctive stylistic feature which emerges in his sculptures, paintings, and drawings.