Monday, 24 March 2014

Modigliani, Soutine and the Accursed Artists




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.

Modigliani

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.

Jeanne Hebuterne

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. 


I

10 comments:

  1. Yes, Modigliani certainly was hunky, but I didn't know the sad story of his life. I think that, genetically speaking, troubled or strange minds are the price humanity pays for genius. Maybe.

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    1. Yes he was handsome. I thought Colin Firth could play him if they made a film about his life :)

      Jean x

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  2. What a story - I too have long admired Modigliani's work but was unaware of his tragic death and the subsequent suicide of his beautiful wife.
    I saw those canvasses in Lidl - can't wait to see just what you create on them.

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    1. I must get creating Rosemary! I haven't managed to make a start on my crochet balnket yet. I have a great pattern but none of my crochet chums can make head nor tail of it. I shall press on though.

      Jean x

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  3. ~ My goodness this is so very tragic...Very often so in the history of those with a gifted and talented mind....Not to mention creativity! Thank you for sharing with us...And lucky YOU a trip to Rome sounds wonderful...
    Hugs Maria x

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  4. Ooh forgot to day, Jean you're header is a 'feast' for the eyes...

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    1. Thanks Maria I took the picture in the flower market in the centre of Rome.
      Jean x

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  5. He has long been a favourite of mine, having found him when at art college in the early sixties. What a tragic life though!

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  6. Such a lovely and informative post, to die so young and his wife!
    Why is it that the truly genius and artistic people appear to be the most troubled?
    Does it come with the 'territory' i wonder.
    best wishes to you today
    Daisy j x

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  7. I didn't know anything of Mogdigliani's life, how sad, so talented and what a handsome family they would have made.

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