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Caryatid Painting by AmedoModigliani

Famous Art work & Drawing by Amedo Modigalini - Caryatid

Caryatid. c. 1912/13. Pencil on paper. 39.7 x 25.7 cm. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France.


Caryatids were used in the architecture of classical antiquity to support entablatures or other similar members. Modigliani produced roughly sixty drawings and several paintings of caryatids.

Modigliani’s painting was benefited by his work as a sculptor. The art of sculpting enabled him to arrive at reduction, linearity and abstraction which were the components of his pictorial language. This has been demonstrated in his caryatid drawings.

Modigliani’s interest in the subject of caryatid shows his fascination for Greek and Roman Antiquity; where caryatids were architectural supports taking human form. They bore the weight of the structure above them.

This “caryatid” drawing of Modigliani illustrates the function of caryatids at Antiquity, only in its pose. Kneeling on one leg, the other leg bent towards her body, the strong female figure has raised both arms above her head in order to support the weight which has been suggested by the artist in a horizontal slab. Modigliani abandoned the original function of the caryatid as a load bearing support in favor of the expression of an attitude or pose. The artist depicted the caryatid as representation of a person carrying a burden. Modigliani has focused more upon the symbolic content of the figure than body volumes and spatial effect.

Untitled Document

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