Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian Jewish artist whose practice emphasized painting and sculpture. He was born in Italy but moved to Paris to pursue a career in art. Modigliani died prematurely at the age of 35. His lifestyle was defined by stereotypical bohemian characteristics of poverty, womanizing, excessive alcohol, narcotics and overworking. While Modigliani participated in this crazy lifestyle he was able to carve out a unique artistic vision that also had reverence for primitive art. His sculpture played a significant role in the evolution of modern sculpture in art history, while his paintings continually break records at auction and draw attention in the art market.
In what has become fairly accepted folklore Picasso idolized Modigliani and Picasso asked him to move in during World War I to act as a mentor and critique his art despite Picasso’s already economic success. Modigliani rebuffed him and was fond of humiliating him in public. Picasso never got over being slighted by Amedeo and on his deathbed, over fifty years after Modigliani died the last words Picasso ever said are alleged to be “Modigliani, Modigliani,” and with that he took his last breathe and died.