Modigliani painted this portrait of his friend José Victoriano González-Pérez, better known as Juan Gris, in 1915 whilst they were both working in France. Juan Gris was a Spanish painter who was closely connected to the artistic style of Cubism.
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 54.9 x 38.1 cm Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876-1967), 1967. Inv. 67.187.85 © 2017
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.