Amedeo Modigliani was an Italian painter and sculptor whose portraits and nudes - characterized by asymmetrical compositions, elongated figures, and a simple but monumental use of line - are among the most important portraits of the 20th century despite the fact that his works were not received well during his lifetime.
Modigliani studied art in Italy but moved to Paris in 1906 where he met a community of artists including Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne and Constantin Brâncusi. These artists were working in a highly stylised manner and were influenced by 'primitive' sculptures, which proved to be hugely important for Modigliani's own work.
Modigliani was known to work at a furious pace - he was constantly sketching, producing up to 100 drawings each day. Due to his unpopularity during his own lifetime, many of these works have not been preserved. Managing only one solo exhibition in his life and giving away paintings in exchange for meals in restaurants, he died destitute. His work is now internationally famous and is included in many major galleries and collections.