Power of life

The winter of 1917 was not one of the easiest, the effects of the Great War that had been going on for several years could be felt in all aspects of life. There was no reason to be happy. It was at that time that Amedeo Modigliani created a series of feminine nudes that were vibrant with vitality and sensuality. Some may be outraged by them and others fascinated, but in one thing all agree – they leave no one indifferent. Faced with the lack of everything – money, a sense of security, the hope of a peaceful tomorrow, the artist devoted himself to the passion of creation. His ambition was to show the beauty of the female body by enclosing it in a sublime, sculptural form, described by him as a “column of tenderness”. One of the most recognizable reclining nudes shows this unknown woman, self-confidently lying on a red couch, supported by a blue pillow. She seems to be completely present in this one fixed moment, beyond the past and future.

Modigliani, akt, nude
Amedeo Modigliani, Nu couché, 1917-1918, private collection

This composition is a paean to life itself, against the horrors of war, destroying everything good and beautiful. Its power of influence remains enormous to this day, in 2015 a Chinese collector bought it for over 170 million dollars.

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