Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Amedeo Modigliani

Bust of Amedeo Modigliani, LivornoAmedeo Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884, when Livorno was a thriving commercial port and also a refuge for those persecuted for their religion. His great-great-grandfather was a Jew who had immigrated to Livorno in the 18th century as a religious refugee. His father Flaminio, a money-changer, went bankrupt, forcing his family to live in poverty. Amedeo's birth probably saved the family from certain ruin because an ancient law stated that creditors could not seize the bed of a pregnant woman or a mother with a newborn child. When bailiffs entered Modigliani's home, with his mother Eugenia just into labour, the family piled their most valuable assets on top of her's bed, saving most of them.
Amedeo Modigliani birth house, LivornoThe bust in the first photo is placed at the main entrance of Villa Fabbricotti, a park which also hosts the main local library. The plaque is outside the still existing house in Via Roma, now a private museum, and says:
Here received the gifts of
life, genius, virtue
the painter
Amedeo Modigliani
The Municipality of Livorno
in the 75th anniversary of the birth
July 12, 1959

Life and genius are certain, but it seems absurd to me to call our Amedeo a man of “virtue”...

Search labels: Modigliani
External links: Amedeo Modigliani (Wikipedia)

13 comments:

Babzy said...

i love his paintings !

cieldequimper said...

So do I! I've learned something again today, I didn't know he was born in Livorno!

cieldequimper said...

Yes, well, I was still sleepy this morning when I posted comment #1, now that I'm wide awake after a huge traffic jam, I want to add that the story is very interesting too.

Hilda said...

That's a lovely story! Thank you for sharing it with us. I find it somehow fitting that Livorno ended up paying tribute to a man whose family was almost turned out of their home. And your last comment made me laugh. I don't know Amedeo Modigliani, but based on the lives of the artists that I do know, I have to agree with you! :)

B Squared said...

The things you learn everyday. Neat.

Jacob said...

Fascinating story about a fascinating man. Why not a man of "virtue"?

Fine photo, too!

Vogon Poet said...

Jacob, as Wikipedia says: "he died in Paris of tubercular meningitis, exacerbated by poverty, overworking, and an excessive use of alcohol and narcotics, at the age of 35."

Jacob said...

Well, does that mean his work wasn't virtuous...can a person's work surmount that person's inner turmoil and struggles?

Sounds like he need the drugs and alcohol to try to survive?

35 is way too young to go.

Very interesting, though. Thanks much for the info; I appreciate it very much.

cieldequimper said...

So many talented people died far too young, often ill and sometimes addicts... Remember Mozart...

Baruch said...

Very interesting information - thanks for sharing

Saretta said...

That's fascinating!

Z said...

Didn't know about the pregnant woman thing. That's just great! :-)

Dina said...

Oi, what a story!