“A single Modigliani portrait or nude,” writes Jenny Uglow in the NYR Daily, “is strikingly beautiful—the elongated face, the tilted head, the lithe pose. Yet when a host of them crowds together, as they do in a major retrospective currently at the Tate Modern, the initial impact is oddly diluted. Surrounded by portraits from his first years in Paris, my first response was, ‘Surely they couldn’t all have had V-shaped eyebrows and sunken, oval eyes?’ The mannerisms display a young man out to make a mark, to signal his presence in an immediately recognizable style. It’s irresistible to quote Jean Cocteau, who left Amedeo Modigliani’s portrait of him in the studio because, he claimed, he couldn’t afford the cab-fare to take it home. ‘It doesn’t look like me,’ he said. ‘But it does look like Modigliani, which is better.'”
For more information, visit tate.org.uk.