Even though our visit to Rome last weekend was fleeting, to put it mildly, we did manage to squeeze in a visit to a wonderfully inspirational exhibition.
The collection on show was originally owned by Jonas Netter who was something of an artistic visionary as he purchased these gems from the various artists before they had reached any prominence. Netter died in 1946 and most of his collection has not been seen by the public for over 70 years. How lucky were we? Answer: very.
I'm a big fan of Modigliani and his distinct style of portraying folk with elongated features. Which is why I was drawn to this exhibition. But I knew little of his life which was a tad tragic, not only for him but his young wife Jeanne Hebuterne and their unborn second child.
He died at the very young age of 35 from tubercular meningitis but had also been suffering from frequent alcohol induced blackouts. His beautiful and inconsolable young wife who was nearly nine months pregnant threw herself from a fifth floor window the day after his death. Killing both herself and their unborn child.
It seemed almost immediately after his death Modigliani gained recognition for his work, sadly too late for him. Was that just an 'age' or does that still happen I wonder?
|Bambino in abito azzurro 1918|
Nowadays it seems that some talented and artistic people despite finding success in their chosen field or life ambitions are still unable to find contentment or peace. Isabella Blow, Alexander McQueen and L'wren Scott to name just a few. Talent and destruction somehow inextricably linked, whatever the circumstances or time in history.
Oh dear I'm verging on the lachrymose now, let's change the tune.
The exhibition was wonderful and uplifting. So much so that I made a mental note to make some time for my own artistic endeavours. I do this on a fairly regular basis dear reader,then forget all about it again. I adored art when I was at school, but I haven't picked up a brush, charcoal or pencil since university and I graduated in 1984.
Today though the Goddess must have been looking down on me as I wended my way around the aisles at Lidl. Lo and behold a set of 5 canvases ranging from itty bitty to 50x70 cms. Framed on FSC wood from well managed forests, £7.99. Plus a set of oil paints in 12 assorted colours £2.49. I bought one canvas set and three packs of paints, two for me and one for my son Jack. Now I have the kit I have no excuse!
I haven't spent tons of money on materials so it won't feel a waste if I don't produce a masterpiece straight off. I think I might need to find an artistic visionary of my own.