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By the time Modigliani painted this portrait he had developed his distinctive style of representing the figure. This woman’s elongated neck and stylised features embody his personal vision of beauty. It derives from his interest in a wide variety of arts then considered to be ‘primitive’, including African carvings and Cambodian sculptures, as well as the thirteenth-century paintings and sculpture of his native Italy. He was invited by his friend Gino Severini to join the Futurist art movement which celebrated the dynamism of modern life. Modigliani preferred instead to pursue his own artistic development.

October 2009