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Hashish, Absinthe and Sublime Nudes – The life and work of Modigliani.

Todd Powelson

On January 24, 1920, Amedeo Modigliani died at age 36 from a life-long battle with tuberculosis. He left behind him what is in my opinion, the most beautiful works of art known to man.


Hashish, absinthe and poverty marked his career. Life drawing was his gig. His paintings are primarily portraits of women with long, mask-like faces, including long noses, long cheek bones, long fingers and long chins.

Portrait of a Woman

His nudes are sublime. His portrait of Diego Rivera is so beautiful I see it in my mind when I close my eyes at night.


His sculptures are also well-known, he loved the caryatid, an architectural column shaped like a human being. He also sculpted a lot of busts (women’s heads not their boobs, just to clarify).


About 2 years ago, the University of Utah brought in a show called Monet to Picasso. The show included a single Modigliani portrait. Todd and I felt very fortunate to see it, and went back many times to pay it a visit. Our kitchen is decorated almost entirely in Modigliani prints. The oranges, browns and reds he favored look beautiful with the exposed brick walls of our home, which were erected in 1903 by a Mormon pioneer, a world away from Modigliani’s studio in the midst of French Bohemia.

Diego Rivera

Modigliani did not have time to paint a lot of paintings, because his life was so short. But what he did paint was, in a word. . . . Perfection.

Anna Zborowska
Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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