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Jeanne Hetenval

Jeanne Hetenval, ca. 1909, Drawing
Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884 – 1920)

Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor born in 1884. He first studied art in Italy and later moved to France, where he met prominent artists like Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncuși. Modigliani was revolutionary in his approach to art, as his elongated figures modernized the classical traditions of portraiture and the nude. Unfortunately, his works were not commercially successful during his short lifetime. Modigliani led a Bohemian and drug-infused lifestyle, living only until the age of 35. Today, his legacy is undeniable and he remains one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century.

This piece, a portrait of Jeanne Hetenval dated circa 1909, demonstrates one of Modigliani’s approaches to portraiture, though it is not the iconic style for which he is most well-known. It is an early example of the artist’s work and stands out from the majority of his repertoire because it is a drawing, not a painting.