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This is one of a small group of paintings of youths by Modigliani. The artist inscribed the work's title on the bottom right of the canvas, identifying the sitter as a 'peasant boy'. However, the same model appears in a painting in the collection of the Louvre, Paris, titled 'The Young Apprentice'. Modigliani had long been deeply influenced by the painter Paul Cézanne (1839-1906), and it seems likely that this painting was a homage to the latter's series of country workers posed centrally in the canvas and painted in predominantly blue tones. (See, for example, Cézanne's 'The Gardener Vallier', also in this room.)

September 2004