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Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) is one of the best known - and most misunderstood - artists of the twentieth century. His incisive portraits, erotically charged nudes, elegant drawings of caryatids, and primitivistic sculpture have been admired for decades. Modigliani's work, however, has typically been examined in the limited context of his so-called bohemian, anti-intellectual lifestyle. This book revises this approach toward Modigliani's art, presenting a revisionist examination of the unique historical, social, religious, and cultural significance of his oeuvre.
Modigliani: Beyond the Myth looks at the artist and his art from a variety of important perspectives: his proud heritage as a Sephardic Jew, whose spirituality embraced non-Western, classical, and Christian iconography while retaining its own ethnic identity; his critical engagement and melding of tribal and ethnographic art with Judaism in his portraiture; the representation of the female nude in his works from a feminist cultural perspective; the remarkable reception of his work in Italy after his death, and the failure of traditional art history to account for or analyze these important aspects of his life and work.