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Modigliani, Bohemian Prince
Following his best-seller The Last Days Days of Stefan Zweig, the new graphic novel by Laurent Seksik and Fabrice Le Hénanff evokes the last three years of Amedeo Modigliani’s life until his first success in London; his relationships with his lover Jeanne Hébuterne, with her disapproving and overbearing mother Eudoxie, and his art dealer Léopold Zborowski.
In 1916, Modigliani is befriended by the Polish poet and art dealer Léopold Zborowski, who helps him financially and becomes Modigliani’s primary art dealer during the artist’s final years. In 1917, Modigliani meets nineteen year old art student Jeanne Hebuterne, who leaves her family to share his attic room in Montparnasse. She brings into his bohemian life everything he had dreamed of; grace, love, admiration, devotion. He tirelessly sketches her.
But Mogidliani is as paradoxical as his paintings; passionate but inconstant, his love for Jeanne undermined by his nights with tramps. Even Zlobowski must endure his relentless sarcasm and rage. Constrained by illness and addiction to drink and drugs to abandon sculpture, he is a man for whom painting is a struggle, a painful obsession. While his peers Picasso, Matisse and Soutine are already flirting with consecration, his first one-man exhibition at Gallery Weill provokes outrage, and his nude paintings are taken off the walls.
Towards the end of the First World War, Modigliani leaves Paris with a pregnant Jeanne and travels to Nice, where she gives birth to their daughter Jeanne. In1919, they return to Paris and Jeanne becomes pregnant again.
In the summer of 1919, with the help of Osbert Sitwell, Zborowski arranges a show of French art at the Mansard Gallery in London. It is a success, the first one for Modigliani, and one of his works sells for the highest price. But Modigliani is seriously ill and dies in January 1920. Two days later, still pregnant, Jeanne follows him by committing suicide. Glory will be posthumous.
Fabrice Le Hénanff’s exceptional artwork is very realistic. He heightens his atmospheres with snow and rain, or warmer colours, the shades of the South of France. He gives life to places of the past, faces, perfumes and tactile sensations.
“An impressive artwork”
“An impressive artwork, powerful and authentic.”
“A poignant evocation of the painter”
“A sensitive, poignant evocation of the painter Amedeo Modigliani, who died in poverty at the threshold of his fame at the turn of the twentieth century.”
“This graphic novel is rhythmic with contrasts”
“Dark or warm tones, armed men or sleeping woman in pastels, from one strip to another, this graphic novel is rhythmic with contrasts.”