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Amedeo Modigliani

July 12, 1824 - January 24, 1920
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Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was an Italian painter and sculptor. Born in Livorno, Modigliani was a sickly child, suffering from pleurisy and typhoid fever. Known for his colorful, flamboyant personality, Modigliani lived a short, yet dramatic life, plagued by poverty and deteriorating health. He began to study painting at the age of 14 and in 1903, attended the Reale Istituto di Belle Arte in Venice. He moved to Paris in 1906, where he was inspired by the work of artists like Paul Cézanne and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. In 1909, his friend and fellow artist, Constantin Brancusi, encouraged him to study African sculpture. Modigliani would focus on creating sculptures for the next five years, before returning to painting in 1915. Despite his fame post-mortem, Modigliani did not see much commercial success during his lifetime. His heavily stylized depictions of the human form, with long necks, stretched faces, and vacant eyes created a sense of unease and did not appeal to the public. His paintings that did garner interest often sold for less than ten dollars. He first began to gain recognition outside the Paris avant-garde when his work was shown at a large art exhibition in London in 1919, only a year before his death. In the decades following his death, he has become widely known for his unique body of work, standing apart from any specific art movement or group.

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