Dedo is how Modigliani was known in Livorno, Italy, before he moved to Paris.
Amedeo Modigliani had a lot going. He was Italian and had all the charm, verve and sexy mannerisms that make Italian men irresistible. He was Jewish and it gave him the extra chutzpah, the historical depth, the cultural awareness. He lived in Paris which by itself was an achievement—the only place to be in his day—for any artist destined to succeed. He was good looking. He loved women and they passionately loved him back.
There was something else. He was an extraordinarily inspired artist who painted people in such a way that he made them all look great.
By contrast, Picasso, who also lived in Paris at the time, made everyone look ugly, distorted, retarded, mangled up, disfigured.
Modigliani made us love everyone he painted. Look at his portrait of Chaim Soutine:
His immense compassion and tenderness for those he met is emotionally expressed in every one of his portraits.
Modigliani touches us. He makes contact with our humanity.
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