Modigliani and the “cursed artists” of Montpartnasse in Milan


A little Montparnasse in Milan. The atmosphere of the historic district of Paris, frequented by the greatest artists and contemporary painters of the twentieth century, revives in the exhibition “Modigliani, Soutine and cursed artists. Netter Collection” at the Royal Palace until 8 September 2013. More than 120 works from the rich Jonas Netter collection (1867-1946), remained unpublished for more than seventy years: from Modigliani, subject of the exhibition, to Soutine, Utrillo, Suzanne Valadon, Kisling and more.

The bohemian context is fertile ground for the first real revolution in the art world and for changing the standards known up to that time, as the naturalism typical of Impressionism.

“Tormented spirits” defines them Marc Restellini, curator of the show, which features extraordinary paintings by Amedeo Modigliani, such as “Elvire with white collar”, “The portrait of red-haired girl”, the work on paper “Caryatid”. And more than 20 Chaim Soutine oils, works such as “The Great Bathers” by André Derain, paintings on canvas by Moïse Kisling, the Paris of the early twentieth century by Maurice Utrillo, son of the painter Suzanne Valadon whose “Nude Combing her Hair” and other fine art are here on display.

For the first time in Italy, the artistic heritage is on display through Netter’s boundless love for art. His figure is that of a patron who generously and selflessly supports the creative genius of these artists, not recognized at the time. Netter came to owning about forty of the works of Modigliani, who is one of the five most expensive artists in the world. He loved their originality and the stylized female faces of tapered necks.

Genio e sregolatezza per l’artista livornese, noto anche con il soprannome di Modì, che colorò il suo talento con un’esistenza avventurosa e un po’ folle: poverissimo, malato e dedito all’alcol e alle droghe, ebbe un’esistenza molto travagliata fino alla tragica morte avvenuta all’età di trentasei anni. Si dice che Modigliani completasse un ritratto in una o due sedute. Una volta terminati, non ritoccava mai i suoi dipinti. Eppure, tutti coloro che avevano posato per lui hanno affermato che essere ritratti da Modigliani era come farsi “spogliare l’anima”. I suoi dipinti su tela sono il risultato di una fusione tra la cultura del movimento dei Macchiaioli toscani e le più ardite sperimentazioni di Toulouse-Lautrec e Cézanne.

Genius and recklessness characterize the artist from Livorno, also known by the nickname of Modi, who painted his talent with his adventurous and a bit crazy existence: poor, sick and addicted to alcohol and drugs, he had a very troubled life until his tragic death at the age of thirty-six. It is said that Modigliani completed a portrait in one or two sessions. When finished, he would never rework his paintings. Yet, all those who had posed for him said that being painted by Modigliani was like having “the soul stripped.” His paintings on canvas are the result of a merger between the culture of the Tuscan Macchiaioli movement and Toulouse-Lautrec and Cézanne’s most daring experiments.

Palazzo Reale:

  • 12 Piazza del Duomo, Milan
  • +39 02 54918
  • – ​​
  • Open every day
  • Opening hours: Monday from 14.30 to 19.30, Tuesday to Friday and Sunday from 9.30 to 19.30, Thursday and Saturday from 9.30 to 22.30 (ticket office closes one hour earlier)
  • Admission: € 11 / 9,50 (reduced)

Ritratto di Cariatide

Ritratto di Jeanne Hébuterne




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