Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria ISSN print 1516-4446
ISSN on-line 1809-452X
JCR IF 2018: 2.440
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Braz J Psychiatry 2012; 3: Volume 34;  - 



Cover note

Sônia Salztein Goldberg

Amedeo Modigliani
Italy, 1884 / France, 1920
Self-portrait, 1919
Oil paint; 100 x 64.5 cm

In Livorno, Florence and Venice, Modigliani participated in art courses with established scholars and traditional impressionists. Poor health forced him to travel constantly throughout Italy. At the age of 17, in Venice, he cultivated a taste for the work of Italian painters and the sculptor Tino de Camaino (1285-1337). He arrived in Paris in 1906 and dedicated himself to sculpture, before leaving it later in 1914. Joins the Colarossi Academy. In 1907 he saw Cézanne's paintings at a posthumous retrospective. Modigliani figures as part of the group of artists and intellectuals that cheered Paris life back then, he was "a mixture of cynicism and tenderness", created "from alcohol, drugs and misery", as described Jean Cocteau. In 1909 he established himself near the workshop operated by Brancusi, whose sculpture interested him as much as the lines synthesis found in African images. In 1914, the Polish poet Zborowsky became his marchand and an important influence on his work.

Modigliani became a founding member of the important group known as the "Paris School". His aesthetic is closer to that of Gauguin and Toulouse Lautrec than to the style of cubism that he encountered while traveling in Paris. However, it is undeniable that he assimilated some of the lessons of cubism related to pictorial surface planing the use of abrupt cuts. It is precisely these attributes that allowed him to overcome the deforming quality of expressionism. His singular expressionism involves the moderate application of cubist space to a nostalgic universe, together with a sense of perspective similar to Gauguin's and a melancholy that is reminiscent of metaphysical painting. All of these characteristics are visible in this Self-portrait, the oval facial lines and transparent eyes that are particular to his work are present together with a discrete constructive will expressed without excessive lines to create a lyricism with a archaic resonance.

Sônia Salztein Goldberg

Published in Perfil de um Acervo / Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade de São Paulo (organization and essay of Aracy Amaral. São Paulo: Techint, 1988).