Anna & modi: obsession

From almost complete obscurity during the life of the painter Amedeo Modiliani stepped in posthumous immortality. Prices for his paintings do not just bite, but wild. Not to mention the countless albums, books and fictions, plates, scarves, jewelry with his reproductions, and finally, two films about him: Gerard Philip in “Montparnasse” and Andy Garcia, “Modigliani”. I understand the bitterness Akhmatova, when she found out about all this kitsch around the person she’s close, with interruptions, knew in 1910-11 years – long before he became a myth. In the new York Jewish Museum exhibition Modigliani and Akhmatova whole room.

Modigliani painted her naked – that these “Nude” and presented Akhmatova’s hall, and though some of his biographers without a shadow of a doubt writes about them as lovers. Don’t know – with a candle did not stand. Although it is possible: he loved to draw and write his mistresses (but not only).

He is Italian, she is Russian, and spoke French, and Modigliani, according to her, addressed her “you” (“vous”). Admittedly, and judging from the portraits, Modigliani was handsome as a God. When they met with Akhmatova, he was 26 (and said that on the 24th, and immediately confessed that a Jew), Akhmatova’s 20, and she just got married to Gumilev. However, she never loved Gumilev, opposed the marriage and was only beaten when he threatened to shoot himself. A woman of loose morals, without prejudice, it was not associated love-matrimonial obligations: the marriage was forced. Nevertheless, I may seem old-fashioned, but I admit that between Anna and modi, as it was called close – at least in the first year of Dating was strictly Platonic, although Akhmatova and posed for him naked, lying: in these figures the curves on her body undulating, exciting, stimulating is not a reason to attribute to them an intimate relationship? Model or mistress, which is now playing the role? Moreover, Akhmatova was “isogenies”, and it portrayed many great artists including Nathan Altman and Alexander Tyshler, but that does not mean she slept with them. Undoubtedly, Amedeo and Anna were involved in one of his letters he called her his “obsession” (“une hantise”) and often said that they understand each other like nobody’s business. Had a craving for poetry and art: they are not loved and loved the same – minus the departed scholar-satirist Anatole France and “reciter” of Victor Hugo, but they spend hours spahr poetry of mallarmé, Baudelaire, Verlaine. Modigliani knew by heart the entire “divine Comedy” of his fellow countryman Dante. Akhmatova writes that the love of poetry – rare in artists quality, and she met him just at Tischler.

Portraits and Nudes, sculptures and drawings by Modigliani, the amazing and incomparable. Although he was friends with Pablo Picasso, Chaim Soutine, Jacob Epstein, Jacques Lipschitz and Maurice Utrillo, he went to art their own way, not adhering to any fashionable current. Why Modigliani to be a cubist or Fauvist, when he was a Modigliani! It’s some sort of magical, unearthly colour – combination of blue and ochre, fine outlines, bowed egg-shaped head, slightly distorted contours, semi-closed or closed eyes of his no one be confused, he will not imitate impossible to imitate him, so he did not leave any directions in art (but how easy it is to fake his paintings – hence a lot mogilyovskaja falshaka). He never wrote still-lifes, then a favorite of the genre, there was only one landscape – only portraits and reclining Nudes, which in my youth was driving me crazy. Yes, I was in love with Modigliani’s early years – and still do.

In Modigliani’s talent combined with the monstrosity. Being along the coast with a childhood sick with tuberculosis (her he died 35 years in the 1920s), he not warned about his illness, no friends, no lovers and coy who went from him the insidious tubercle Bacillus. Modigliani wasn’t just a typical representative of the Parisian Bohemia, and superbasic leading a hectic life (including sexual) moving from place to place, always without a penny (“penny”) in his pocket, drunk and drug addict (hashish, cocaine, opium). However, he complained not to poverty or rejection, but only that “surrounded by a dense ring of loneliness.” In may 1918, Gumilev, when we were talking about the Modigliani, told Akhmatova that it was “a drunken monster,” and told my wife that the artist caused a scene due to the fact that Gumilev, the company said in Russian. Maybe it was a late stage of jealousy? Did Modigliani, himself the husband of his ex-girlfriend? What Gumilev knew about their relationship? Whatever they were, these relations, Akhmatova left modi rave about his memoir:

“We probably both didn’t understand one important thing: everything that happened was for both of us a prehistory of our life: it is very short, my very long. The breath of art had not yet charred, not transformed these two existence, it was supposed to be a light pre-dawn hours. But the future, which, as is known, casts his shadow long before how to get in, banging on the window, hiding behind the lights, crossing the dreams and the Scarecrow adlerovskom Paris, which is lurking somewhere nearby. And everything divine in Modigliani only sparkled through any darkness. He had Anthony’s head and eyes with Golden sparks – he was nothing like anyone else.”

Who to believe – Gumilev (“monster”) or Akhmatova (“divine”)? Artist Osip Zadkine (“young God”) or the poet max Jacob, who, despite their close and long friendship with Modigliani, wrote about him that it was “the most unpleasant man I knew. Arrogant, irascible, insensitive, spoiled”?

Let Modigliani was neither a genius nor a villain, but Pushkin’s antithesis – joint whether the genius and evil – stands in front of us. How! And even more – in a gentle way – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Yes, morality and art lie in different planes, but the art does not justify immorality. On the other hand, the amorality of the artist does not detract from his art.

New York.

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