Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was born on July 12, 1884 into a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy. He was the fourth child in the family. His first education began at home, his mother was the one who taught him until Modigliani was 10. When he was about 11 years old Modigliani had his first pleurisy attack. A few years later he was diagnosed with typhoid fever and later with tuberculosis. Modigliani started to paint from a very early age. During two years (from 1898 to 1900) Modigliani worked in Micheli’s Art School where he studied Renaissance art. Guglielmo Micheli was Modigliani’s first art teacher. Modigliani explored landscape, portraiture, still life, and the nude.
In 1902, Modigliani registered to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. A year later he moved to Venice, where he became a student of the Istituto di Belle Arti. In Venice Modigliani first smoked hashish. This had an immense influence on his further lifestyle and behavior.
In 1906 Modigliani moved to Paris where he renting a studio. From the time of his arrival in Paris, Modigliani cultivated the reputation of hopeless drunk and drug user. Modigliani, suffering from tuberculosis, used drugs to self-medicate. The drink and drugs helped ease his physical pain and allow him to continue to create his art. Modigliani was very productive painter sketching and making as many as a hundred drawings a day.
Modigliani’s style cannot be categorized with those of other artists. He developed his own truly unique style of painting. Modigliani also was a talented sculptor. His sculptures were exhibited in the Salon d’Automne of 1912.
Modigliani enjoyed the writings of Nietzsche, Carducci, Comte de Lautréamont, Baudelaire, and others, and developed the belief that disorder and defiance are the only routes to true creativity. In 1910, he met Anna Akhmatova (Russian poet), his first serious love. After a year, however, they broke up and Anna returned to her husband. On December 3, 1917, Modigliani’s first one-man exhibition opened at the Berthe Weill Gallery. On November 29, 1918, Modigliani became a father. Modigliani died on January 24, 1920.