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Seated Nude - Amedeo Modigliani. 92 x 60 cm
If you are looking for the most recognizable painting in the nude genre of the brush of the inimitable Amedeo Modigliani, then it is in front of you - a delightful and languid “Sitting Naked”.
Since the end of 1916, the painter turned his attention to the bold and ambitious nude genre. Later, a series of works with naked nymphs, society will perceive with hostility as a kind of provocation, which is designed to violate moral principles and demonstrate a careless attitude towards a woman. But today Modigliani is considered a singer of female beauty, along with Rubens, Botticelli, Moreau and others.
Some researchers claim that the painting depicts Beatrice Hastings - a poetess and critic, beloved Modigliani, or a fictional girl with some Beatrice features.
The presented work is the start of the Nude series. She is not yet so relaxed and brave, as opposed to the late work of Modigliani, where the girls are more sexy and free.
The master presents us with a close-up model, placing it vertically and “cutting” the girl at the hip level. The black-haired beauty closed her eyes and lowered her head to her left shoulder. The girl’s face is deliberately elongated, which recalls the African masks that Modigliani was fond of, having looked at Picasso (“the African period”). Lips are compressed, a neat, elongated nose, thin eyebrows, a light, lively blush on the cheeks - all this creates the impression of humility and meekness. With special care, Amedeo wrote hair - on the original, you can easily see thin furrows from the brush stalk, with which the author depicted strands.
Unlike later works, the color of the picture is softer - light, sparkling skin (especially the shoulders) tells us about freshness and youth. Modigliani deliberately depicted a contrasting dark background to emphasize this youth and beauty. What does the heroine do? It is unlikely that her covered eyes speak of a dream - it is difficult to sleep in such an uncomfortable position. Rather, she poses in front of someone. One feels a certain internal tension, expectation, sexual subtext.
It is believed that the initiator of the creation of nude paintings was a friend of Modigliani Zborovsky, but some art historians say that Beatrice Hastings made a significant contribution - it was she who showed Modigliani that sensuality in paintings is also important, along with paints and brushes. But, of course, the main love of Modigliani at the time of the creation of the canvas is yet to come - the master will meet with Jeanne Hebutern in 1917. But this is another story ...