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Modigliani : a life

by Meyers, Jeffrey.

Format: Print Book 2006
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
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Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction ND623.M67 M49 2006
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  ND623.M67 M49 2006
 
 
Summary
In 1920, at the age of thirty-five, Amedeo Modigliani died in poverty and neglect in Paris, much like a figure out of La Boheme. His life had been as dramatic as his death. An Italian Jew from a bourgeois family, "Modi" had a weakness for drink, hashish, and the many women-including the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova-who were drawn to his good looks. His friends included Picasso, Utrillo, Soutine, and other important artists of his day, yet his own work stood apart, generating little interestwhile he lived. Today's art world, however, acknowledges him as a master whose limited oeuvre-sculptures, portraits, and some of the most appealing nudes in the whole of modern art-cannot satisfy collectors' demand.

With a lively but judicious hand, biographer Jeffrey Meyers sketches Modigliani and the art he produced, illuminating not only this little-known figure but also the painters, writers, lovers, and others who inhabited early twentieth-century Paris with him.
Contents
Livorno childhood, 1884-1899
Italian journey, 1900-1905
Down and out in Paris, 1906-1908
Aristocrat in rags, 1906-1908
Carving direct, 1909-1910
Artificial paradise, 1911-1912
Jews in Paris, 1913
Wild colonial girl, 1914-1916
Inner eye, 1915-1916
Simone and Jeanne, 1917-1918
Beyond pleasure, 1916-1918
The light in Nice, 1918-1919
The soul's midnight, 1920.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Astute and prolific Meyers, the Joyce Carol Oates of biographers, has concentrated on literary lives, and now turns to artists. He dubs Amedeo Modigliani the greatest Italian painter since Tiepolo, but, sadly, Modigliani's talent was matched in force by his self-destructiveness. Efficient yet generous with vivid details and intriguing asides, Meyers describes Modigliani's hometown, Livorno, Italy, and portrays the artist's Jewish family, which, tragically, harbored genes for madness. Modigliani arrived in Paris in 1906, handsome as a god, full of sass and ambition, and steeped in Rimbaud and -Nietzsche. Seductive and outrageous, Modigliani knew everyone yet refused to join any of the headline-grabbing movements, developing, instead, an intensely idiosyncratic vision that interested nearly no one. A fickle lover, dependent on drink and drugs, and ill with tuberculosis, his dissolution was catastrophic and his poverty appalling, leading inexorably to his death at 35. Meyers explicitly describes the squalor Modigliani fatalistically endured, dispelling romantic notions about starving artists and starkly exposing a cruel paradox--the wretchedness of Modigliani's life versus the transcendent beauty of his art. --Donna Seaman Copyright 2006 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this personality-driven new biography, Meyers (Katherine Mansfield; Hemingway; D.H. Lawrence; etc.) turns his discerning eye to an artist whose "painting thrived on chaos," the French-Italian-Jewish bohemian Amedeo Modigliani. A contemporary of Picasso who detested cubism, "Modi," as he was known to his friends, was stricken with tuberculosis at 16. And while the incurable lung disease eventually led to his death at age 35, his rowdy and reckless lifestyle-replete with women, drugs and drink-surely contributed as well. Modigliani's tumultuous behavior, Meyers posits, was inextricably tied to his work. Meyers presents clear readings of Modigliani's paintings and sculptures, spelling out the influence of art nouveau, Lautrec, stylized African sculpture and mannerism on the artist's flat, vividly colored style. He also knowledgeably traces Modi's self-destructive rise from philosophy-reading child to posthumous star. Though Meyers tends to lapse into lengthy mini-biographies every time a new acquaintance of the artist's is introduced (an interlude about Modigliani's ex-lover Beatrice Hastings, for example, segues into a discussion of Hastings's ex-lover Katherine Mansfield) and frequently repeats his thesis (Modigliani was self-destructive!), he has painted a vibrant portrait of a deeply unhappy man. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Modigliani, Amedeo, -- 1884-1920.
Painters -- Italy -- Biography.
Publisher Orlando :Harcourt,2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xiv, 272 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 261-263) and index.
ISBN 0151011788
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