Seated Nude on Divan. Painting
by Amedo Modigalini
Nude on Divan
In 1914, Modigliani started working on his series of nude pictures. Altogether he painted more than thirty nude pictures; a bulk of his total output of oil paintings. Interestingly, he never used the women with whom he had a lasting relationship to model for him in his nude pictures. Instead, he used housemaids, waitresses and professional models.
Modigliani’s models consist of two groups. The nude in this painting, “Nude on Divan” belong to the group of ‘Venus Naturalis’ male ideal of love as identified by scholars. The model is with dark hair, full breasts and wide hips and she is Mediterranean in appearance.
A characteristic of this painting is the starkness of the setting; the background against which the model is posing is sketchily suggested. The sensuous contours of the model’s body are clearly defined by curvy lines or arabesques which guide the eyes of the viewer around the hieratic form. No distraction is allowed as the truncated body occupies most of the canvas space. Woman is depicted as sex object provocatively, offering themselves to the viewer.
Modigliani’s oeuvre was nonetheless unique and idiosyncratic. He was influenced by contemporary artists, range of genres, art movements and primitive art.
According to Craig Rauie, Modigliani was a very stylish painter and there was more to his work than his wonderfully sexy and anatomically impossible nudes.
The woman is seated on a divan with her head tilted to her left. Her
breasts are partly hidden by her left arm with her right arm resting on
the sofa. She is sitting with crossed legs. The artist has offered the
viewer a sexy but simplified picture.
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