Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: Modigliani, Amedeo from Philip's Encyclopedia

Italian painter, sculptor, and draughtsman. Many of his sculptures portray elongated heads, inspired by mannerism and African art. During World War 1 Modigliani returned to painting, focusing on erotic female nudes and portraits, such as Girl with Pigtails (1901).

Summary Article: Modigliani, Amedeo
from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(ämādĕ'ō mōdēlyä'nē), 1884–1920, Italian painter, b. Livorno. In Paris after 1906, Modigliani first worked as a sculptor and was influenced by the works of Constantin Brancusi, cubism, and African art. Soon, however, he developed a unique style in painting, creating sensuous nudes and singular portraits characterized by an elongation of form, a purity of line, a sense of sculptural mass, and a languorous atmosphere reminiscent of Florentine mannerism. Although known to other artists and many Parisian intellectuals, he remained largely unknown to the public during his short life, which was one of poverty, dissipation, and disease. Shortly after his death from tuberculosis, his portraits and figure studies became highly prized by collectors. Modigliani is particularly well represented in the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

  • See biographies by W. Fifield (1978) and M. Secrest (2011);.
  • studies by J. Modigliani (1958), J. T. Soby (1963), A. Werner (1967), C. Mann (1985), A. S. Pfannsteil and B. Schuster (1986), A. Kruszynski (1996), D. Autkrystof (2000), K. Wayne (2002), M. Restilinni (2003), and M. Klein et al. (2004).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

Related Articles

Full text Article Modigliani, Amedeo
Chambers Biographical Dictionary

1884-1920 Italian painter and sculptor He was born in Livorno, Tuscany. His early work was influenced by the painters of the Italian Renaissance, par

Full text Article Modigliani, Amedeo (1884 - 1920)
The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Art and Artists

Italian painter, sculptor and draughtsman; born in Leghorn, of Jewish descent. Modigliani studied in Venice and Florence and...

Full text Article Modigliani Amedeo (1884 - 1920)
A Biographical Dictionary of Artists, Andromeda

The Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani was born at Livorno. He was encouraged in his early talent by his mother,...

See more from Credo