La Belle Romaine

Modigliani: La Belle Romaine

He lived only 35 years and died in Paris of tubercular meningitis in July of 1920, but Amedeo Modigliani’s art lives on. Surrounded by French Impressionist landscapes, he had another vision: painting everyday women, nude, against a plain studio background. So he did, and changed the way the world thought about art. Born into an Italian Jewish family, he was plagued by serious illness, poverty, alcoholism, and narcotic addictions until he died. But his point was that all women who take care of themselves have beautiful bodies, beautiful hair, and a sensuality that should be celebrated. Point taken. One of his paintings, La Belle Romaine (1917), sold at Sotheby’s on Nov. 2 for $68 million.


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