This work by the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani was made in 1917 and is currently part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum of New York.
In all of Modigliani's pictorial production, the protagonist of his paintings is the human figure. Although, from 1916 it is totally dominated by the female nude. Something that caused him serious problems. And that he lived and created in the Parisian neighborhood of Montparnasse where a certain sexual freedom reigned, however when he held his first and only individual exhibition, the exhibition was closed by the police, because his Nudes were branded as immoral and with a strong erotic charge that was too realistic.
Nude with Modigliani necklace
And the fact is that the life of Modigliani was not excessively pleasant. The figure of him is surrounded by alcoholic and drug excesses, and by poverty and illness. That is why he is not surprised that he died at the age of 36, in 1920, in abject poverty. Leaving the widow eight months pregnant with him, he committed suicide several later. A cursed aura that also surrounded his only daughter, who died in strange circumstances years later, believing that the person she herself had chosen to guard her father's legacy intervened in her death, and who was discovered to have authenticated works that in reality never paintedModigliani, who made his works in a style that was easy to plagiarize.
Because Modigliani's works, after his death soon began to be highly valued, especially his nudes. Some works for which he chose professional models, while for the rest of his works he used people from his environment, as in some of his portraits of artist friends.
This Nude with a Necklace is a good example of the artist's style. It shows us the woman completely naked, only wearing a coral necklace around her neck. She defines her body from simple lines that mold the volumes of her body, idealizing her beauty based on those suggestive curves.
And as for her face, it's the usual Modigliani oval face, with a very attenuated nose and tiny mouth. This gives the face a mask-like appearance, influenced by African sculpture. With this he was trying to intensify the desire for the unknown, not making a real portrait, and at the same time trying to protect that person without showing it fully.
Regarding the composition of the work, it unfolds the body diagonally over the foreground, leaving part of the figure outside the canvas, and places it on a black background in contrast to the white of the sheets in the bottom, where you can also see a red quilt. A scenario that is repeated in several of his female nudes. Some works that always have a patent sincerity and provocation. Somehow he takes up the theme of the sensual venus of previous centuries, such as the Venus of Urbino ofTitian or the Venus in the mirror of Velázquez, but he doesn't place them as before in a mythological setting, but simply introduces us to those women.