Madame Zborowska Painting
by Amedo Modigalini
Madame Zborowski on a Sofa.
The polish poet and art dealer Leopold Zborowski and his wife Hanks met Modigliani in 1916 and supported him till the end of his life. Modigliani painted their portraits several times.
In this portrait, the depiction of the female sitter has been executed in an extremely elongated form. The sitter is the artist’s friend and also wife of his art dealer. The style reflects Modigliani’s vision of beauty. The influence of primitive arts such as African sculpture, Cambodian carvings and 13th century Italian paintings are quite obvious in this painting.
The artist has placed her figure in black against a brown background in a pose reminiscent of a formal 18th century portrait. Power of the painting springs from the way her elongated body and neck create a diagonal that is balanced by her folded hands. The canvas is dominated by her superior mask-like face.
As the other portraits, this one is also easily recognizable as painted by Modigliani, with the characteristic flat and mask-like face, almond eyes, twisted nose, pursed mouth and elongated neck.
This portrait is a fine example of Modigliani’s portraiture.
Modigliani’s unique style cannot be categorized with other artists. He was noted for his fast works. Those posed for him said that being painted by Modigliani was like having your soul laid bare.
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