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Painting by amadeo modigliani

Famous Art work & Drawing by amadeo modigliani modigliani painting

Anna Akhmatova

Amedeo Modigliani had his first love affair in his life with Anna Akhmatova, the Russian poetess fro St. Petersburg, when she came to Paris. Both of them had their studios in the same building.

This outstanding drawing portrays Anna Akhmatova both as an ancient Egyptian goddess and as the poetess lost in her dream.

Modigliani and Akhmatova visited together the sculptures of Egyptian goddesses and queens at the Louvre in 1911. Modigliani got the reflection of Akhmatova’s extra ordinary beauty, nobility and statuesque presence in the women of ancient Egypt. By virtue of his poetic, mystical nature he might have imagined her as an Egyptian queen in her former existence. That imagination might have led him to depict her in this languid and sensual pose that evokes the body and hair of Egyptian goddesses and queens. The artist has used his line to convey the essential spirit of his subject. Of the various Akhmatova drawings, this picture is the most simply drawn without extraneous line or artifact. The left is only merely suggested. The entire attention is upon the attitudes of her head and revealing posture. The purity of line is expressive and assured.

Both Modigliani and Akhmatova were intelligent people, erudite lovers of poetry and art. Many of Akhmatova’s poems were dedicated to Modigliani while her delicate features continued to dominate Modigliani’s drawings and sculptures. One might say that their meeting in Paris was like a crucible in which two powerful artistic forces were chemicalised and left a new legacy both for Russian poetry and for Parisian art as well as a contribution to world culture.

Anna Akhmatova was born in 1889, in Odessa, into the family of a naval officer. She started to write very early in spite of her father’s protest. In 1910, she married Nicolai Gumilev, a poet and critic. They spent the spring of 1910 in Paris, where Anna met Modigliani and fell in love with him. She spent the summer of 1911 in Paris with Modigliani and under the influence of the love affair, wrote many lyrical poems which formed her first book “Evening” (1912). Her son Lev Gumilev was born the same year who became an outstanding historian, geographer and philosopher. The child was kept under the supervision of his grandmother, since Anna’s husband Nicolai disliked her. Anna visited her son during holidays and summer. She wrote that she “was a bad mother”; that “motherhood is a bright torture. I was not worthy of it.”

The book “Evening” made Akhmatova a very popular poetess. She remained neutral to the Bolshevik Revolution. But her husband, from whom she parted in 1918 was arrested and shot as a counter revolutionary in 1921. That incident immensely affected the lives of Anna and her son.

Her son was arrested in 1949 and was held in jail until 1956. Anna wrote essays and a long poem ‘Requiem’ which was devoted to the victims of Stalin’s repression.

Akhmatova was rehabilitated in the late 1950s, but her works were heavily censored. Her banned book ‘Requiem’ was published in Russia in 1987. It was a moving cycle of poems Stalin’s purges, her own memoirs about Amedeo Modigliani, poet Alexander Blok and Osip Mandelstan.

In 1964, Akhmatova was awarded the Etna-Taormina Prize (Italy) and an honorary doctorate from Oxford University in 1965. At the age of 76, she was chosen president of the Writers’ Union of USSR. Anna Akhmatova died in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1966.

The deep love of Anna Akhmatova and Modigliani fore each other was coupled with the realization that once she returned to St. Petersburg in 1911, any future meeting would be impossible. In addition, the guilt Akhmatova felt in regard to her husband is reflected in several of her poems.

The works of art by Modigliani were more precious to Anna than anything else.

It was Modigliani’s guitar rendition of Italian folk songs and his improvisations that prompted Akhmatova to pose for him and her posing in turn inspired his paintings. Her poses, though nude, were more reflections of her bodily beauty than eroticism. Akhmatova referred to those poses in several of her poems as reflection of her sad anticipation of her parting from Modigliani.
“In was born in the Right – Time”………

I was born in the right time, in whole,
Only this time is one that is blessed,
But great God did not let my poor soul
Live without deceit on this earth.

And therefore, it’s dark in my house,
And therefore all of my friends
Like sad birds, in the evening aroused,
Song of love, that was never on land.

Untitled Document

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