At War With Picasso
What’s that? Is it an alien? A giraffe?
No silly, that is a Modigliani.
Amadeo Modigliani is an artist of the late 1800s and the early 1900s who was a rival to Picasso in Paris.
Unlike Picasso, who was an established artist during his life, Modigliani regrettably only made a true impression on the public posthumously.
An early death probably didn’t help Modigliani in his quest to be at Picasso’s notoriety during life. At merely 35, Modigliani died of tubercular meningitis after years of heavy drinking, drug use, and overwork. Like his artwork, Modigliani’s life story came to the public eye after his death. A couple of movies were made about his life and one, simply titled “Modigliani”, shows the truly difficult times he went through during his last days.
The film expresses one of Modigliani’s philosophies about art that fueled the rivalry between him and Picasso. This is evidenced when Modigliani says, “Art is in a woman’s face…tell me Pablo [Picasso], how do you make love to a cube?”. That line defines what Modigliani’s art is about.
Modigliani believed in women and the way they are is an art and all he had to do was try to paint it. If painting was all he had to do, Modigliani did it well. His paintings can capture the basic lines in a human face and still portray the emotion surrounding it.
I personally believe that Modigliani reigns supreme over Picasso. Though it saddens me that Modigliani never got the level of respect Picasso received from the public.
Which one of the two is the winner in your eye?