Anna & Modi: at the Modigliani exhibition in New York is a whole room devoted to Anne Akhmatova

Anna & Modi: at the Modigliani exhibition in New York is a whole room devoted to Anne Akhmatova
9 January 2018, Tuesday

The Jewish Museum of New York opened an exhibition of works by the legendary artist of the twentieth century Amedeo Modigliani.


The new exhibition is called "Modigliani Unmasked", which can be translated as "Modigliani without a mask". It is devoted to the early works of Modigliani, mainly drawings created by the artist during the first years of his arrival in Paris in 1906 from the Italian town of Livorno.


At the exhibition in the Jewish Museum, the most part of one of the halls is occupied by the portraits of Ahmatova work by Amedeo Modigliani. The story of the novel by Anna and Amedeo, like the story of the portraits of Akhmatova, is amazing and deserves a separate story.


He is Italian, she is Russian, and she spoke French, and Modigliani, she said, addressed her to "you" ("vous"). Admittedly, and judging by the surviving portraits, Modigliani was handsome, like a god. When they met with Akhmatova, he was 26 (and said that 24, and did not immediately admit that a Jew), Akhmatova - 20, and she had just married Gumilev. True, she did not like Gumilev, opposed marriage and ceded only when he threatened to shoot himself. A woman of free morals, without prejudice, she was not bound by love-matrimonial obligations: marriage was forced. And nevertheless, let me seem old-fashioned, but I admit that between Anna and Modi, as his close ones called it, at least in the first year of acquaintance, there were platonic relations, although Akhmatova posed for him naked, lying: in these pictures the lines of her body are wavy, exciting, exciting - is this not an occasion to attribute to them an intimate relationship? A model or mistress, what role does it play now? Moreover, Akhmatova was "isogenous", and her portrayed many wonderful artists, including our Nathan Altman and Alexander Tyshler, but this does not mean that she slept with them. What is certain - Amedeo and Anna were carried away by each other, in one of the letters he called her his "une hantise" and often repeated that they understand each other as nobody. They were connected by a craving for poetry and art: they did not like and loved the same things - in the minus went the erudite-satirist Anatole France and the "reciter" Victor Hugo, but they spent hours sparring the poems of Mallarme, Baudelaire, Verlaine. Modigliani knew by heart the entire "Divine Comedy" of his compatriot Dante. Akhmatova writes that the love of poetry is a rare quality for artists, and she met him only with Tyshler.


The exhibition will be open until February 2018.

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