Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (1884-1920) was an Italian artist born in Livorno of Jewish heritage, practicing both painting and sculpture who pursued his career for the most part in France.

In 1906, Modigliani settled in Paris, where he encountered the works of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georges Rouault, and Pablo Picasso (in his "blue period") and assimilated their influence. The strong influence of Paul Cezanne's paintings is clearly evident, both in Modigliani's deliberate distortion of the figure and the free use of large, flat areas of color.

A fine example of Modigliani's figure paintings is a Reclining Nude (1917; Guggenheim Museum), an elegant, arresting arrangement of curved lines and planes as well as a striking idealization of feminine sexuality.

This Nudo Seduto belonged to the Henri Ford's II collection that went on auction in May 1980. Over 20,000 people visited the 5 days exhibition prior to the sale. It was sold on the 13th of May 1980 for $600,000.The total of the sale reached $ 18.3 million. Henri Ford II had said that he would come to the sale but then told the auctioneers that there was a strike in Detroit and that he preferred not to be seen at the sale :"It would look very bad, he said, if I was seen to have made 10 million (the amount of the estimate) or more while I was telling the automobile constructors to get stuffed for $1.5." When the autioneers told him the sale had made 18 millions, he was nonplussed and said:"Well done, Jesus, people are crazy."

Two comments that say a lot about the super-rich people's mentality.

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