Description of the picture:
Portrait of Beatrice Hastings – Amedeo Modigliani. 1915. Oil on canvas. 81 x 54 cm
The eccentric, active and recklessly professional Amedeo Modigliani has enjoyed insanely popular with the ladies. Images of many of her fans were left by the painter in portraits. In the midst of them Beatrice Hastings is an intellectual and eminent Parisian socialite.
Beatrice was catchy and ambitious. She wrote poetry, tried herself as a circus horsewoman, sang, and in a wide range (could sing both bass and the highest soprano), possessed a piano and traveled a lot. She played a huge role for the following researchers of the work of Modigliani, because she left detailed memoirs about the artist.
Their romance was fleeting and catchy. They were a very unusual couple – an elegant, stylish blonde Beatrice and a dark-skinned Modigliani taller, dressed in a washed, worn-out suit.
The presented portrait is far from the only one in the gallery of the master’s works. Beatrice for some time became his muse – he painted it in different interiors, with all kinds of hairstyles and hats. And here we see Beatrice in an unusual bowler hat decorated with a long multi-colored feather. The author emphasizes her long swan neck. The face is extended. Small eyes, a thin nose, curved eyebrow strings, gathered red lips create a thoughtful and focused image. With his eyes, the artist acts in an original way – one draws, and the second fills with color completely.
Modigliani complements the portrait with an unusual background – behind the heroine’s back is a brown piano and a yellow wall. The master here, as almost always, does not observe spatial canons, from this the image of Beatrice seems to extend beyond the boundaries of the picture, allowing us to examine it in more detail. The colors of the painting traditional for Modigliani are warm, rich tones. The line of the master is thin and graceful, interacts with color, creating volume.
Modigliani’s life with Beatrice was hectic and passionate. They quarreled, using fists, mops and flower pots, and then violently put up. The woman kept Modigliani from bad habits, sometimes enjoyed drinking whiskey with him, she lived with him under one roof, but claimed that she could not belong to anyone. Most of all, Modigliani was hurt by the fact that Beatrice believed that the artist’s paintings should be approved by the public, the master insisted that he was the main critic himself. In the end, the windmill Beatrice left Modigliani to the sculptor Alfred Pina, leaving Modigliani the bitterness of separation and a number of her wonderful portraits."