View Full Version : Oldies & Goodies May 16 - 30 Modigliani

05-15-2009, 09:41 PM
Here is a little overview of Modigliani to get us started.Doug Stewart writes in Smithsonian Magazine:

Late in 1919, in a squalid Paris studio strewn with wine bottles, Amedeo Modigliani painted a wistful portrait of his 21-year-old lover Jeanne Hébuterne. A few months later, on January 24, 1920, the impoverished artist died of tubercular meningitis at age 35. The following evening, Hébuterne, eight months' pregnant with their second child, leapt to her death from a fifth-story window.

During Modigliani's short and difficult life, the going rate for his elegant, oddly distorted paintings was less than $10, and takers were few. A landlord who confiscated some of his work in lieu of rent used the canvases to patch old mattresses. This past November an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's auction house in New York City paid $31.3 million for the Hébuterne portrait.

One of the many ironies of Modigliani's career is that so tortured a life could produce so serene a body of work. His art managed to bridge the stylistic chasm between classical Italian painting and avant-garde Modernism.

well, that is a somewhat dismal start........please feel free to comment or post your drawings, or paintings, any medium.........Maybe take a few minutes to check out these links.... the last one is a 5 minute video. I look forward to your company as we acquaint ourselves with another classic artist .




05-16-2009, 06:22 AM
I am looking forward to the Modigliani study!!

That is a lovely video link...lots of images in there I had not seen before.

I added the butt icon in case we do some nudes:thumbsup:

05-16-2009, 09:44 AM
Great video. Love these morphed art studies.
Modigliani is one of my favorites and I found a lot of paintings I'd like to try. Maybe I'll mess with the oils again.

He managed to get a lot done in his short life. Since he hardly made any money and now his work is worth millions, and he can't make any profit, it might be nice for some of these buyers to throw a little money to art schools and poor emerging artists in his name. I hope some of them do.

There is a movie out, but I haven't seen it. Here is a clip, supposedly when M meets Renoir. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGybGQqXbKo

Thanks Robin, this is going to be a great two weeks.

05-16-2009, 05:13 PM
Robin, thanks for this challenge.

Here is mine. Pastel chalk pencils on light blue Canson pastel paper. The original image is here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Amedeo-modigliani-XX-Portrait-of-Maude-Abrantes-1907.jpg). He has interesting interpretation of people.

Portrait of Maude Abrantes-1907


05-18-2009, 07:26 AM
Sandra, nice pastel, very like the original but with your own take. She looks very sad though, like she has a tear in her eye.

Here is a fascinating essay on the life of Jeanne Hebuterne, Mogdiliani's mistress, his daughter, their families and their life together in Paris.
I got so interested that maybe I'll rent the movie with Andy Garcia, though I'm afraid I may be disappointed. :rolleyes:

05-18-2009, 09:41 AM
Hello June, Janet, Gakinme and who ever may be dropping in -
Yes, there are lots of info on the web about this guy. I like his subdued color schemes....the light greens especially.

Janet, I thought the same thing....about how much he achieved and only lived to 35.

Gakinme - good likeness of the portrait......got the distilled misery that is in his life story.

June - thanks for the butt icon......I often forget those things. I think I'll use up the tempera I've from the last Challenge doing some of these portraits.

05-18-2009, 01:38 PM
Gakinme, lovely pastel. I really like the hairdo!

I also like Modigliani's colour schemes. I am looking forward to doing one in oils.

05-18-2009, 02:37 PM
Thank you, Janet, Robin, June. I think it's an insect at her left eye that the artist put in. It was a bit freaky when I looked at it closely. A bit morbid...haha.

05-18-2009, 06:34 PM
an insect, really!!!! ugh

05-19-2009, 10:32 AM
Just got home from the library dragging a big heavy book on M. Put out by Skira, it's full of drawings and sketches, besides the paintings. Really like the works on paper and may try a few this afternoon.....hope I can get to it...if so, I'll post them :heart:

05-19-2009, 05:08 PM
I loved that movie, Andy Garcia was wonderful, the colours were so Modiglianyish, but it's 95% fiction. Picasso driving Amadeo out to see Renoir--ha ha, Pablo never learned to drive a car.

05-20-2009, 06:20 AM

Alkyd oils, 12 by 16 ins, canvas.

Here's my Modigliani. Still wet so not the best photo...I alwys hope the paintings will look better when dry.

I may glaze a bit of blue over the background as I went a bit far in the grey direction. But I'm happy with this copy as I enjoyed doing it and it only took a day for the colour and a day before that for the undercoat of raw umber.

I think its a portrait of Leopold Zborowski. But no idea who he is...was he a poet or writer or art collector? I'll google and see if I can find out.:wave:

From web

Zborowski was Modigliani's primary dealer and confidant during the artist's final years and the first art dealer of René Iché (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Ich%C3%A9), Marc Chagall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Chagall) and André Derain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Derain). There are three portraits of him by Modigliani (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amedeo_Modigliani). One of those, a 17 3/4" by 10 3/4" portrait sold for $1,464,000 at Sotheby's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sotheby%27s) in 2003.

05-20-2009, 07:08 AM
Oh, June....what can I say. Your portrait is wonderful. The colors are beautiful. :clap:

Zborowski was a young Polish poet when he arrived in Paris and was introduced to the artistic community and then went on to become, as you say, a very important part of M's life.

I wonder, if Modigliani was such a drunk and drug user how he could of produced so much quality work?:confused:

Again June....a lovely portrait :heart:

05-20-2009, 05:18 PM
Yesterday I painted a copy of a portrait by Ferdinand Hodler of his model/lover Jeanne Cerani-Charles, and posted it on the Portrait Forum.


And then I discovered this thread, and got to imagining what Jeanne might look like if Modi had done a painting of her.


05-23-2009, 12:17 AM
These look really good, I especially like the idea of taking the artist's style and applying it to a different portrait.

The colour and texture in yours is great June, the photo looks fine to me.

I found this was an area I really struggled with my computer and tablet, as there is no real depth or texture to the "paint" and its hard to replicate it. Would like to go back and look at Modigliani again when I have some real materials.


05-23-2009, 09:57 AM
I love the bold strong colours Emlish.

Modigliani did some very attractive portraits of women...the red-haired woman is particularly striking!!

05-23-2009, 04:39 PM
LG, love the two Jeannes. What a great idea.

Emlish, Your portrait came out just fine...she is quite stunning. I'm really interested in this computer/tablet art form. I may need another lifetime to get into it, though. :cool:

05-23-2009, 05:22 PM
Thanks Emlish and trafford for your kind remarks.

Emlish, you did very well with your tablet, would love to see an oils version by you.

05-25-2009, 09:38 AM
Janet - sounds like you have a good library

Lawrence - I had wondered how much of the movie was true. His life had enough pathos, they had to add more???? Both those portraits are lovely but your first one is filled with life. Looks like Modigliani drained her of some vital element.

June - good job on the Zborowski. Also art dealer for Iche, Chagall and Derain you say? Sounds like an interesting character.

There is that green. His color scheme stayed consistent for a while with muted colors off set with brights it appears to me.

Ah, Janet thanks for the added fact about Zborowski. Then he must have been a fellow artist/poet more than a business contact. I think part of the productivity can be attributed to the fact that he probably did not work alot. Sometimes I think that Van Gogh would have avoided alot of his trouble if he just worked for a living along with painting.

Emlish - that is very Modiggillish. good job - got a wistfulness to it

05-25-2009, 10:39 AM
Hi Lawrence. I love your portrait study. Bold and colourful.

05-26-2009, 10:59 AM
Here are a few Modigliani drawings that I did from the library book. All done around 1915. Couldn't find any of the originals on the web, but I'll post them anyway. I found trying to copy a drawing harder than trying to copy a painting :(



Now I'm trying to incorporate his style into my own sketches. :cool:

05-26-2009, 01:46 PM
Janet -
Very nicely drawn :clap:.
I have a book on Modigliani with a few drawings. Your references are not in, but I found a drawn portrait (chalk?) of Leopold Zborowski aka Zbo.



05-26-2009, 10:58 PM
Wow, neat drawings, Janet. I haven't seen these. They are not as strange as his paintings.

Arnoud, yeah, even your piece has very much his style!

05-27-2009, 02:09 AM
Lovely work Janet. Its a bonus to incorporate some features you like from these copies into your own style.

Very good to see zborowski in a drawing, Arnoud. You made a very fine job of it.

I should take a look for books on Modigliani in the library when I go into town tomorrow.

05-27-2009, 03:33 PM
Hi everyone!

I just posted my attempt to a nude from Modigliani and some of the viewers called my attention to this forum so although I´m duplicating the post I put it here. My attempt is with colored pencil Prismacolor, Aquamarine blended with water. Drawing on Accademia 200g Fabriano paper from a block. As I wrote in the other place, may Modigliani forgive my attempt.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-May-2009/187113-MODIGLIANI_1.JPG

05-27-2009, 11:14 PM
Janet - lovely sketches, I think trying to incorporate different styles into our work is stretching.....stretching sketching, ....yes, anyway...those display the picasso leanings he had too.

Arnoud - thanks for posting that drawing of Zbo. He is portrayed as a friend and artist, I think. Modigliani must have liked him to painted / drawn him so much.

Illyna - hi ho, glad you found this little corner . Your drawing is right on the mark. I like the single color approach. The little subtilities are endearing. .

Here's my copy of the cypress trees. I love the landscapes . Started another one tonight. And I just love working with the tempera. Thanks June for introducing us to it in the last project.

05-28-2009, 02:57 AM
Beautiful landscape, Robin. I am glad you are enjoying egg tempera. If you use it fairly thickly and in heavy layers, you get an 'oil' type of look, although satin not shiney finish. I rather like it that way.

Hi Illyan, glad you made it over to the Modigliani project here!! I love your 'modern' approach.

05-28-2009, 02:26 PM
Thank you Arnoud, Sandra and Azul. Loved the sketches and am doing more. Your drawing is very good, Arnoud and very clean. I think the drawings M did in 1915 were sort of an experiment, since he threw ink, wash, paint and crayon in the works.

Azul, nice landscape, different than the more obvious portraits. Are you having fun with the egg tempera?

Illyan, glad you stopped by, please come back again. Liked your take on M. and would like to see more.

......:heart: :heart:

05-28-2009, 02:32 PM
Well I hauled the big library book on to the scanner, so that I could post this drawing Modigliani did of his lover, Jeanne. I seem to be obsessed by it. It is totally different than his other work...no long neck, no long nose for Jeanne....just a drawing, and yet there is a feeling about it.

This is the original..I don't think I could copy it.


05-29-2009, 01:00 AM
Thanks June and Janet and YES - I love tempera.

Thanks for sharing that drawing by Modigliani cause I would have never known it was by him......it is beautiful and without any distortion.....

Here is another landscape. Also in tempera.

05-29-2009, 06:25 AM
Really like this one, Azul. All the different greens and the shot of blue...and you can see just by looking at your M. landscapes, that you enjoyed painting them.
Am putting together the ingredients for the June "egg tempera" recipe and hope to give it a try soon. You seem to like it more than you did at first...are you doing something different?
Will miss Modigliani. It has been a great two weeks :heart: :heart:

05-29-2009, 08:41 AM
Robin -
Very nice paintings, I love it. Cannot do it myself, I am partly color blind. Well I could do expressionist works, I assume :lol:.

Arnoud, yeah, even your piece has very much his style!
Your drawing is very good, Arnoud and very clean
Too much honor, too much honor. That drawing is Modigliani's, not mine. So I now felt morally obliged to draw a copy myself. And I was so intrigued that I did 2 of them, one in Conte Sanguine pencil, the other in Derwent Drawing pencil ("ivory black", was in the set of 12, but I never saw a use for it)



Leopold Zborowsky played an important role, Modigliani stayed some time in his home (between 2 love affairs) and had a studio there. "Zbo" also convinced Gallerie Berthe Weill to organize a solo exposition for "Modi", which was closed by the police after a few hours because "the nudes had pubic hair"

But now that portrait of Jeanne's is a challenge I cannot refuse.:(

05-29-2009, 06:32 PM
Thanks Janet and Arnoud - The first landscape was my first tempera and I liked it very much. The second one continued the love affair. I like the way the layers don't mix but you can rub back to the layers easily and/or mark into it with something sharp.(empty gel pen) The lighter color composition( first one) made for easy fixes if I went to dark.

Arnoud - those are excellent copies.

I too have enjoyed Modigliani. Maybe he will be one we revisit.

05-30-2009, 04:00 PM
Thank you Robin.

Jeanne Hébuterne
after Modigliani.


Derwent Drawing pencil, 15 x 23 cm.

05-30-2009, 04:04 PM
OK Arnoud....You captured Jeanne, even the sad eyes :thumbsup:

06-02-2009, 10:27 AM
Ilyan, I like the color you use for the nude piece.

Robin, the egg tempera version is excellent. The colors are so solid and masterful!!

Arnoud, again great pen studies of his portraits. You are really good at getting their features especially on Jeanne and your third piece of the gentleman!

06-02-2009, 10:49 AM
Janet, Sandra - thank you for your appreciation.

Robin, thank you for hosting this project :thumbsup:. I had only a vague idea about Modigliani, now he is one of my favorites :).

07-01-2009, 02:00 PM
Thanks June and Janet and YES - I love tempera.

Thanks for sharing that drawing by Modigliani cause I would have never known it was by him......it is beautiful and without any distortion.....

Here is another landscape. Also in tempera.

Ooooh!!! Robin I love these!!!! Tempera, hey? Hmmm do I need yet more art supplies? :) :) :)

07-01-2009, 10:50 PM
Hi Ho EP....Thanks but nah, I don't think you will need anything new......just some tube watercolor, egg yolk, and a little clove essential oil to ward off the bugs...June's easy recipe for egg tempera is on this thread- post #10. I'm really INTO tempera now. You may like it too :wave:


07-01-2009, 11:23 PM
Thanks, Robin! I'll give this a try!