Modigliani: The Bohemian Prince of Montparnasse
By Stephen Eaker
“Oh my God was he gorgeous!” exclaims Kiki of Montparnasse in her memoirs penned at the age of 28 in the year 1929. “He was either a pig or a pearl,” writes Beatrice Hastings, Modigliani’s lover from 1914 to 1916. With family roots tying him to Spinoza and Don Juan of Spain, his life was both meditative and exuberant.Lecture “Modigliani: the Bohemian Prince of Montparnasse” Wed, Feb 19, 4:30 and 6:30pm La Ostra Roja A Casa Verde Annex San Jorge 45 Colonia San Antonio (off Refugio) 130 pesos per person Reservations: 121-1026 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Born in Livorno, Italy, in 1884, Amedeo Modigliani became an instant legend on the day of his funeral in January of 1920. His artistic star was climbing to greater heights as his poor health was rapidly descending, and he died upon the threshold of certain fame and fortune. He was known to his friends as “Modi:” a fateful nickname because of its uncanny French homophony — “maudit,” which means “cursed.” The Maudit Modi was one of the most handsome men in all of Paris, usually drunk, high on drugs, or both in his latter years, ravished by horrible coughing fits that could last for hours; would recite Dante, Baudelaire and Verlaine from heart as he would swing from lamp posts or pirouette down the streets. Because of his poor health — pleurisy, typhoid fever, hallucinations, tuberculosis — he sadly abandoned sculpture for painting. He slept in trash bins, and painted extremely sensitive portraits and iconic nudes with swan-like necks and elongated bodies. Known as “The Angel of Melancholy,” Modigliani knew the frailty of life. That is why his art resonates with such profound sadness, but never falling into the macabre. There is always an exquisite elegance, a sensation of silence from which emanates an almost Zen Buddhist refinement.
But who was this man? A proud Jewish Italian who remained a wonderful and unique artistic oddity within the context of his time. What were his demons? Why this deliberate path of self-destruction for a man who was solely concerned with beauty?
Stephen Eaker would like to invite you to hear the humbling and heart-wrenching story of Amedeo Modigliani, the fallen Prince of Montparnasse, and for many, the last true Bohemian. This power point presentation contains much more information, archival photographs and more illustrations than before!