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Modigliani and His Masters
Sala 4
Nudes (I)

Modigliani had painted female nudes from the time of his arrival in Paris. His first works were notably expressive and conformed to the Symbolist idea of the female body as a source of sin. Later, his nudes lost this moralising content and embraced a Mediterranean sensuality.

In 1917 and with the consolidation of his mature style, Modigliani began his popular series of reclining nudes on the request of his friend and new dealer, Léopold Zborowski, who aimed to sell them to collectors interested in the newest type of avant-garde art. However, the thirty or so works painted in Zborowski's apartment between 1917 and 1919 did not meet with the anticipated interest. In these works Modigliani looked to the example of earlier nudes, from Giorgione's Venus to Goya's Naked Maja, flattening the female form in a way first used by Ingres and ultimately adopted by Picasso. Most notable, however, is their erotic charge, which reflects the spirit of sexual liberty prevailing in Montparnasse in the second decade of the century and which shocked many of those who saw these paintings.
Reclining Female Nude

Amedeo Modigliani
Reclining Female Nude, 1917
Oil on canvas. 60 x 92 cm
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Reclining Nude
Amedeo Modigliani
Reclining Nude, 1917
Oil on canvas. 60.6 x 92.7 cm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Mr. and Mrs. Klaus G. Perls Collection, 1997
© 2007. Image copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence
Amedeo Modigliani
Nude, 1917
Oil on canvas. 73 x 116.7 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection
Gift, Solomon R. Guggenheim
© The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York