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Caryatid Painting by Ameod Modigliani


Famous Art work & Drawing by Amedo Modigalini Caryatid Caryatid. 1913/14. Pencil, pastel and watercolor on paper. 53 x 43.8 cm. Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France

Caryatid Painting by Modigliani

Modigliani’s fascination with the nudes or partly draped female figures that supported the entablatures of ancient Greek temples made him to choose them as subjects for his caryatid paintings and drawings. He detached caryatid from their architectural setting. Though the caryatid is a device for decoration, he changed that into an autonomous figure for his art work.

In this “Caryatid Painting”, it is vivid that the caryatid does not assume the function of supporting an entablature. There is nothing there to support. The posture is only an attitude. Here the motif is the rhythm of the parts of the female body uninfluenced by any load. The artist is concerned with clear volumes and their rhythmic relationship to each other. Abstractly, his caryatid is a strictly formal and totally static figure. In his depiction of this nude, Modigliani was more concerned with formal pictorial qualities than naturalistic representation and anatomical details.
The influence of Modigliani’s sculptural work on his paintings becomes particularly evident in his caryatid paintings. In this painting, this influence is evident in the voluminous quality of the figure’s arms and legs. The artist turned away from a mere naturalistic manner of his earlier work and embraced a highly stylish abstracted approach, focusing his attention on the details of the subject’s hair and facial features. It was Constantin Brancusi, whom Modigliani met in Paris in 1909, who instilled in him the principles of direct carving as well as an economy of form.

Untitled Document

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