“Anna Zborovskaya”, Amedeo Modigliani – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Anna Zborovskaya – Amedeo Modigliani. 1917. Oil on canvas. 55 x 33 cm
The role of the Zborowski family, Anna and Leopold, in the life of Amedeo Modigliani is difficult to overestimate. They wholeheartedly worried and worried about each other, tried to contribute materially, sought to open the artist’s work to the general public. In the end, they managed to fall in love with the viewer in the paintings of Modigliani, but, unfortunately, this happened after the death of the painter.

When Modigliani had absolutely no means, the family invited him to live for themselves, paid for models. It was difficult to call Leopold a wealthy man, the means were difficult for him, and when they could not help the professional, poor master with models, they themselves acted as sitters.

This portrait of Anna (Hanki) Zborowska was painted a couple of years before the death of Modigliani. In one session. Contemporaries of the artist recall that in the last period of his work, Amedeo always painted portraits in one session. No matter how very tired he was. The painter seemed to anticipate his untimely departure and strove to be in time as much as possible.

The heroine is written in large and detailed. The elongated face resembles an African mask. Close-set eyes, an elongated nose, thin lines of lips and eyebrows drawn in detail speak of the aristocracy portrayed. Anna’s hair is gathered in a modest hairstyle. A long starched high white collar dress adorns a long neck. A modest outfit is complemented by an amber brooch.

The background master visually divides into two honor: the dark red right side, where you can notice the inscription "Anna" in Latin letters, and the yellow left, where we see striped wallpaper, on top of which Modigliani left an autograph. The two parts of the background are not combined in any way, on the contrary, they seem to be located on different planes. Modigliani was very fond of this technique, because due to such asymmetry, the portrayed hero by itself moved to the forefront, as if protruding from the background, became more prominent.

The woman on the canvas looks thoughtful and distracted. You can note a clear line of the master, with which he distinguishes the face and neck of his heroine. Modigliani focuses on warm colors with a predominance of orange, brown, burgundy. The combination of colors is devoid of subtle transitions – here, in accordance with the aesthetics of expressionism, colors are contrasted contrasted together, forming a bright textured canvas.

After the death of Modigliani, Leopold Zborovsky became the chief manager of the artist, opened up his work to the world and was able to present the master’s paintings at a fair price in the art market. The family was able to make a great fortune on the works of Modigliani. After the death of Leopold, Anna was forced to sell the entire personal collection of Modigliani paintings, which settled in various museums, galleries and private collections."

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