Monday, December 30, 2013

The Beggar of Livorno

Not much is left of what Amedeo Modigliani painted in Livorno, but “The Beggar of Livorno” is surely one of these works. In the summer of 1909 he was back in his hometown and it may be interesting to know how Jeanne Modigliani, in her biography of her father, tell us the story of this portrait à la Cézanne.
The Beggar of Leghorn by Amedeo Modigliani
“The Beggar of Livorno”, 1909
Oil on canvas, 66x52.7cm
Private collection

“The diary mentions that they had moved to Via Giuseppe Verdi and that, around 1909, they had received a legacy from someone called Castelnuovo. Moreover, in three letters that are undated but that refer to Castelnuovo's complicated will and speak of the baths at Pancaldi, Eugenia writes to Margherita: ‘Dedo is out of the house all day with a friend who has a studio.’ (This was Romiti.) ‘Caterina comes in by the day. Dedo and Laura are writing articles together, but they are too much up in the clouds for me.’ And at the end: ‘Dedo has seen the pictures, which he says are worthless, and also the famous statue.’ The statue was a late-Renaissance copy of a Greek Hermes, the pictures were a pastoral scene attributed to Salvator Rosa, a seascape by Tempesta, and a seventeenth-century Neapolitan picture of a beggar. In the famous Beggar of Leghorn, the watered-down Cézannesque structure reminds me of the Neapolitan composition; it seems to be a modern interpretation of an old picture and not an authentic portrait done from a model.”
(Jeanne Modigliani, Modigliani: Man and Myth)

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

6 comments:

Jack said...

It is interesting to read this account. I can see the Cezanne style here. And, it has more depth than many flat Modigliani portraits have.

Randy said...

That's a nice one.

tapirgal said...

It may be Cezanne in some ways, but very original altogether. I love the blended colors.

Dina said...

I do like this Beggar.
Wouldn't mind having one of the pictures Dedo called "worthless."

Gunn said...

What a nice and interesting posting!
Thanks for sharing.

JM said...

Wonderful painting!