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Modigliani made more than seventy drawings of caryatids. Their highly stylised manner shows his absorption in a wide variety of arts then considered to be ‘primitive’, including African and especially Cambodian carvings. The drawings were preparatory sketches for sculptures, and Modigliani is said to have conceived of a ‘temple to humanity’ surrounded by hundreds of such caryatids. However, he appears to have made only one carving directly related to this crouching figure.

September 2004