Museums and Art

“Lying nude with a blue pillow”, Amedeo Modigliani - description of the painting

“Lying nude with a blue pillow”, Amedeo Modigliani - description of the painting

Lying nude with a blue pillow - Amedeo Modigliani. 60 x 92 cm

It is believed that Toulouse-Lautrec and Cezanne had a great influence on Amedeo Modigliani - he borrowed a graphic style from the first, and the second enriched the painter's color palette. But his best canvases, and these are works in the nude genre, are an exceptional find of Modigliani himself, without imitation and any quotes. Only at Modigliani we find these warm, thick tones, a volume line, a composition elongated by the diagonal, and personification of images.

The picture presented is called “Reclining Nude”, but most often it is shown with the addition “with a blue pillow” so as not to confuse it with a more famous masterpiece, where in about the same position, but with bent at the elbows, a nude woman is depicted (also By the way, on a blue pillow, but more saturated color).

The canvas was part of the most famous Modigliani series, created by order of Zborovsky - the one that caused a stir in society and the ban on exhibiting "obscene art" in public, demonstrating disdain for a woman. Ironically, nudes today are considered the pinnacle of creativity of an emotional Italian who died in a hospital for the poor.

The golden body of the heroine attracts with a bright velvet glow. The artist wrote out each bend - rounded hips, a tapered waist, chest, and a thin neck. The girl's eyes are closed, she is relaxed and free, showing the viewer bliss and sweet languor.

The line underwent an absolute rebirth here - the painter completely rethought it. If before the line limited the paint, the color, now it has turned into a kind of textured element, that is, the line and the volume merged together. Art historians note that thanks to the textured line, naked girls look “as if alive” on the canvas - this is an amazing find within the framework of expressionism, in which Modigliani worked.

It seems that the master did not think about the background at all. We see the outlines of a sofa, on which lies a pillow and a naked and empty wall. Everything is done in a dark brown tone. Meanwhile, Modigliani did everything so that the background emphasized the radiance of the skin of his heroine. You can notice wide strokes and embossed performance - the master then darkens, then slightly highlights some parts of the background. As a result, the canvas seems to sparkle, sparkles, echoing the radiance of a naked body.


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