Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was born in Livorno, Italy and had formal art training in Florence and Venice. In 1906 he moved to Paris and turned to sculpture, carving totem-like figures in stone that owed a debt to his mentor, Constantine Brancusi, as well as to African masks and Greek Archaic figures.
Modigliani returned to painting in 1915, specializing in female portraits that are delicate in execution, with simple forms and colors. In a typical painting, the subject is sad or non-expressive. Modigliani painted a series of large nudes that are outstanding in their grace, linear harmony and color. A figure is outlined with an elongated torso, sensuously colored in imperceptible gradations of flesh tones.
Unappreciated in his lifetime, Modigliani lived a poverty-stricken, bohemian life that was cut short by illness when he was only 36.