What I am seeking is not the real and not the unreal but rather the unconscious, the mystery of the instinctive in the human race.
— Amedeo Modigliani
Birthday to now very much loved Amedeo Modigliani who during his short life never managed to sell a painting for a respectable sum; more than that - he had only one exhibition and often traded his work for meals or drinks. He died in poverty of tuberculosis which haunted him since he was 16; his lack of money and fondness for alcohol and narcotics aided his early demise. Quite ironic really, when we remember that story how by being born on a certain day he saved his family of bankruptcy : his mother went into labour just as creditors came to take all of their possessions; however the law was such that it was not allowed to take a bed under a woman in labour and so the family threw all the valuables on Amedeo’s birth bed ;)
He was a sickly child that considered himself an artist quite early on : his mother prompted him to get better by promising him trips through Italy, especially Florence. A gifted boy he soon proved worth of artistic investments : he was somewhat of a teacher’s pet; he called him no less than a Superman, supposedly for quoting Nietzsche :)
He arrived in Paris at the same time as Juan Gris, in 1906; within a year Amedeo became a true bohemian known to half of Paris, a drug addict and a drunk. Some think that the way Amedeo presented himself was a way to hide his sickness, the tuberculosis he first experienced in Venice, when he was just 16. As a carrier of this disease he would be feared and isolated in artistic circles. Be it as it may it is sure that few people knew of his condition, that was in constant remission and recurrence. His nickname Modi, translating as cursed(maudit), was quite fit for the legend of the cursed, doomed artist that since then has formed around him.