Description of the picture:
Tuscan road – Amedeo Modigliani. 1899. Panel, oil. 36 x 21 cm
The key to realizing how a 14-year-old boy managed to make such a lively and reverent picture is the incident of his youth.
The upbringing of the little Dedo (the home nickname of Amedeo Modigliani) was engaged in by the mother of Eugene Garsen and grandfather Isaac Garsen. The future world-famous painter was engaged in a personal school organized by his mother, and his grandfather, a scholar, a polyglot, a specific chess player and a highly educated person, introduced him to art. So Modigliani developed in a mental environment that only fueled his artistic talents, formed a worldview and aesthetic ideas.
When the boy was 11 years old, his mother left a question in her diary: can he grow up as an artist? But after a couple of years it became clear that the successes of his son in painting go far beyond the bounds of predisposition or ability – he is a real talent. It was at this age that his first professional painting “Tuscan Road” appeared, where Modigliani depicted one of the landscapes near his home. Critics attribute this painting to the style of post-impressionism. It is known that young Amedeo studied at the studio of Guglielmo Miqueli, where the emphasis was precisely on impressionism. The boy was the youngest in the class.
The presented work is of interest not only as a rare example of (post) impressionism in the work of Modigliani – the artist very rarely turned to the landscape genre. The main painter created works in the aesthetics of expressionism, with portraits or his greatest works by nudes.
The composition was built in such a way as if the viewer himself was standing on a road that goes into the distance beyond the horizon. In the wet road, we see a mirror image of the sky. Along the edges of a thicket of dried grass, at the horizon – an uneven line traces the silhouette of the mountains. A bright accent that creates a certain asymmetry in the compositional construction is a lonely tree with a thick uneven crown.
The color of the picture is quite cold with a splash of warm, yellow spots. It can be noted short, nervous strokes, sparkling playing texture. There is not a single line here (although later on the Modigliani line will become an important component, the author will “teach” its volume and expressiveness). The dominant party is color, or rather, overflows and combinations – everything corresponds to the concept of impressionism. Everything is presented through a haze, a veil, a person of light-air space.
Of course, in the work you can find imitation, quotes, a kind of “student” style, but already in this early work the young genius was able to create mood and sensation. It’s like you are standing by a wet winding road, inhaling moist, tart air, and your legs lead you beyond the horizon to the gray mountains …"