28 Dec Feature: Modigliani’s muses / AnOther
As the paradigmatic tortured artist, Amedeo Modigliani’s biography is now legendary. An alcoholic, drug addict and rampant womaniser, his early death by tuberculosis at 35 ended a turbulent life that feels strangely at odds with the elegance and serenity of his sculptural portraits and nudes. The enfant terrible of the Paris Modernists went largely unrecognised during his lifetime, and he staged only one exhibition, but his work now achieves eye-watering prices at auction.
All of this mythologising makes it difficult to unpick some important truths: among them, the central role his lovers played in shaping his work. Even with the catalogue of cruelties inflicted upon them, they continued to propel him forward creatively. On the eve of a new retrospective at Tate Modern which also aims to redress this imbalance, we look back at three talented women who lived under Modigliani’s towering shadow.