“Red-haired woman”, Amedeo Modigliani – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

The red-haired lady is Amedeo Modigliani. 1917. Oil on canvas. 92 cm x 61 cm
There is a common worldview that, according to his natural talent, Amedeo Modigliani was an architect – the Italian painter looked at his own models with the eyes of a sculptor, if not a painter. Moreover, at the first step, the master worked with the stone, creating elongated heads corresponding to him, “blind” eyes, embossed noses, curved necks. Later, all these stylistic features were transferred to the canvas. An aristocratic lady with a shock of reddish hair is a vivid confirmation of this.

The woman from the canvas is graceful and elegant. She is wearing a black dress, under which it is impossible to guess the shape of the figure. But this is not necessary for the artist – Modigliani focuses the attention of the viewer on the face of the heroine. To do this, he purposely not only lengthens the neck, but also makes the gate open, edging it with white lace.

The heroine’s face is flat and almost plain with a barely guessed blush. The character and mood of the red-haired woman is read in her eyes. The author does not even need to somehow detail the eyes – he just sketches them in one color. But the cut, size, and arrangement of the girl’s eyes, together with a long nose and pursed lips, tell us that we are dealing with a delicate nature that is in some thought. She is in some familiar place, in a familiar setting, which is why she so casually settled on a chair, resting her elbow in the back. She can even be called somewhat bored, or maybe the artist is having an unhurried conversation with her?

One of the basic concepts of Modigliani can be expressed in the following words: he depicts models not for posterity, but writes a personality at the moment when the hero appeared before the artist. That’s why the painter ignored the external similarities with the portrayed, focusing on the internal state of the models, on their feelings. And the viewer carefully examines the red-haired woman, trying to guess who is before us, why the artist depicted her that way, from this the image seems to come to life, entering into dialogue with us. Portraits of Modigliani – this is the whole story.

From a technical point of view, one can note a thin, light line that directly interacts with color, forming volume and texture, a combination of warm and light color, sweeping strokes. It is interesting to observe color rolls on the canvas, for example, hair and the color of the chair.

Some critics, half-jokingly, argue that the heroes of Modigliani are all one and the same resentful children, but not all agree with this statement and quite rightly. Rather, the faces from the Modigliani paintings are simply … different, not like any other portraits, nor themselves. So I saw them, but rather felt, Modigliani."

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