Painting by amadeo
Famous Art work & Drawing by amadeo modigliani
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
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
“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.
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