Description of the picture:
Groom and wife (Couple) – Amedeo Modigliani. 1915-1916. Canvas, oil. 55.2 x 46.4 cm
Composition "Home couple"or just "Couple"either "Wife and Groom" – A rare example of a pair portrait in the work of the Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. The painter specialized in personal portraits, creating their majestic huge number, giving the main role to one character. Modigliani carefully and intently studied the portrayed, trying to see the soul of his own model, to feel the essence of man. And suddenly a pair of portrait …
The poet Jean Cocteau recalled that the couple we see on the canvas, Modigliani noticed by chance – elegantly dressed people were walking along the street. Contemporaries of Modigliani have repeatedly said that the master only had to look at the person he was interested in in order to remember him and then write a portrait. A similar situation happened with a couple walking. However, analyzing the picture and all the hidden meanings that the artist put into it, the canvas can be compared even with a genre scene – there are so many nuances and subtle characteristics.
Before us are two nouveau riche mods. Both are dressed exquisitely, both for a ceremonial exit, and for an unusual walk. The man is wearing an evening black suit with a snow-white collar and the same shining butterfly. You can notice the rim of the hat, judging by the size of the fields, for sure, this is a cylinder or something like that. We do not see the clothes of his companion, we can only note the collected hairstyle and earrings, all the same exaggeratedly large, going beyond what a lady with good taste could afford.
On the whole, the artist portrayed the couple as caricatured, loud, and the portrait cannot claim seriousness in any way – the master is entertained and ironic, focusing on the bourgeois and philistinism of his heroes. Moreover, you can see that the girl is much younger than her companion. It’s like we have an old dandy in front of us, an old rake, which is accompanied by a young kept woman. This intimate theme was quite common in art, both in painting and in literature.
The composition of the picture is also very remarkable – we see a harmonious alternation of empty space with detailed parts of the canvas. The girl is depicted only on the neck, and the man, on the contrary, is actually on the chest.
In the lower right corner we see the signature of Modigliani. He highlights his autograph as a separate artistic element, taking it in a frame. And without a signature, an experienced (well, not so) look will immediately determine by elongated faces, geometric simplification, warm color, that we have before us the work of the great Modigliani."