Modigliani made more than seventy drawings of caryatids over his career as preparatory sketches for sculptures. He is said to have conceived of a ‘temple to humanity’ surrounded by hundreds of such caryatids, however, he appears to have made only one carving directly related to this crouching figure.
Date of work
Pencil and crayon on paper 55 x 41.5 cm The New Art Gallery Walsall, Garman Ryan Collection
Born in Livorno, Italy to Jewish parents in 1884, Amedeo Modigliani was a dedicated painter, draughtsman and sculptor. He began studying art in 1898 and continued to do so after moving to southern Italy to recuperate after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
In 1906, intrigued by the Paris art scene, he moved to the city where he developed a unique and instantly recognisable pictorial style. Though meeting little success during their time, his emotionally intense portraits and seductive nudes are now among the best-loved paintings of the 20th century.