Amedeo Modigliani expired at the rather young indeed age of thirty-five on 24 January 1920. The strong-willed Italian portraitist’s early demise was much more the natural byproduct his personal cosmology than a freakish accident. Revolted by his comfortably stagnant bourgeois upbringing, he convinced himself that only struggling for crusts in nonconformist squalor could produce true art.
Toss in a long-standing fling with wracking tuberculosis and a hearty let-it-be-damned appetite for drugs, absinthe and other debaucheries du jour; it’s clear Modigliani wasn’t meant long for this world.

His life may have been turbulent, but also full of love, as his vast portfolio of gentle female faces and comely nudes would have it seem. Yet one woman made a different sort of mark on the man, a beautifully solemn-faced artist whom all in his circle knew he intended to take as his wife — Jeanne Hébuterne.
Exactly what peaks of steadfast ecstasy were reached during their common-law meeting of souls will remain known only to them. Though two factors prove beyond doubt that Amedeo and Jeanne’s was an intensely devoted bond.

Firstly, she threw herself out an upper-story window to her own death, aged just twenty-one, in the early morning hours following his decease. Secondly, while alive he painted her again and again (and again), in myriad elegant, experimental, obsessive ways that reveal her to be constant, commanding and much more than a muse.
Enjoy several of such depictions here, images of a love both tragic and abiding, meant not just for art history, but for eternity.
Emily Catrice

Jeanne Hébuterne, 1919


Jeanne Hébuterne with a Scarf, 1919


Jeanne Hébuterne in a Yellow Jumper, 1919


Jeanne Hébuterne in a Hat, c. 1917-1919


Jeanne Hébuterne with White Collar, 1919


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1919


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne with Her Left Arm Behind Her Head, 1919


Jeanne Hébuterne in front of a Door, 1919


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1919


Jeanne Hébuterne, 1919


Jeanne Hébuterne with Hat and Necklace, 1917


Jeanne Hébuterne with Necklace, 1917


Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne in a Blue Chair, 1918


Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne in a Large Hat, c. 1917-1919


Seated Jeanne Hébuterne, 1918


The Artist’s Wife, 1918


 
 

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