The myths that masked Modigliani

“A ravishing new show demonstrates why the Italian romantic deserves to be plucked from his bohemian backwater, says Sarah Crompton.”

From The Daily Telegraph:

Modigliani1_1Amedeo Modigliani doesn’t get a mention in the National Gallery’s recently opened Rebels and Martyrs show – but, in terms of proving a point, he could have had a whole room to himself. For the Italian-born artist was the paradigm of the romantic bohemian, the outsider painter who pursued his own vision amid a swirl of drugs, alcohol and dissolution in the Paris of the early 20th century.

He died in penury and squalor in January 1920 at the age of 35, discovered by a neighbour in the final throes of tubercular meningitis, his bed strewn with bottles of alcohol and cans of sardines, his mistress Jeanne Hébuterne nursing him. She hadn’t thought to call a doctor, but her devotion to her lover was so great that, two days after his death, she threw herself backwards from a fifth-floor window. She was nine months pregnant with their second child.

More here, including a slide show.