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Woman lying on the bed (Anna Akhmatova)

Amedeo Modigliani • Drawings and illustrations, 1911, 26.5×43 cm
About the artwork
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Expressionism
Technique: Pencil
Materials: Paper
Date of creation: 1911
Size: 26.5×43 cm
Artwork in collection: Smart and Beautiful Natalya Kandaurova
Artwork in selections: 14 selections

Description of the artwork «Woman lying on the bed (Anna Akhmatova)»

One of the most mysterious works of Modigliani, which seems sort of fiction, then true is written pencil portrait of Anna Akhmatova — "Woman lying on the bed." His appearance is preceded by a chain of events that led to the meeting of two geniuses of art — the artist and poet.

May, 1910. To Paris for a honeymoon couple comes to celebrate poets — Nikolai Gumilev, Anna. The young husband conducts his wife to the cafe "rotunda" — that there are going to representatives of the literary and artistic Bohemia. Among them Amedeo Modigliani, expressive and keen sense of artist.

A slim figure of Anna, her sad eyes and chiselled features in a moment struck him to the heart. Modigliani did not take from Akhmatova's eyes, she noticed his interest and approached him. Gumilev, watching from the side, didn't like it, and in Russian, he turned to his wife, proposing to leave this "barn". Modigliani, felt terrible, Gumilev ill-concealed irritation and knowing what caused it, could not resist and bluntly made the poet remarks, pointing to the fact that others don't understand what he's talking about. The outbreak of the spark was a forerunner of the fire that broke out then between Akhmatova and Modigliani and spawned the famous pencil sketch-portrait of Anna Akhmatova.

According to the poet, which in the mid 60-ies of the last century, wrote a short essay recollection of Modigliani, all of them were chaste in nature. They walked the streets of Paris, sitting on a Park bench under a big black umbrella and together recited favorite poems. Portrait Of Akhmatova according to her, was written Modigliani from memory after his return home from a walk.

In the figure we see the woman reclining on the sofa and leaning on the pillows. She's wearing a light floral dress, revealing shoulders. Right hand woman leaning on pillow, left freely lying on the sofa. Long hem dress slightly covering her bare feet. All poses emanate a meditative calm shoulders relaxed, eyes half-closed. Sketched Modigliani portrait of Anna Akhmatova in a few lines, with the exception of a female head, written out very carefully, and the pattern on the dress.

In 1910, they met only a few times, and then all winter Modigliani wrote letters to distant Russia. Their next meeting took place a year later — Anna for two months came to Paris. All this time the painter and the poet spent nearly separated: there were frequent walks in the Park Buttes-Chaumont, and visits to Parisian cafes, and trips to the Bois de Boulogne. As he wrote of Modigliani portraits of Akhmatova — memory or live with nature — we will never know.

This pencil drawing, the artist gave Akhmatova together with other 15 sketches. Unfortunately, most of them were lost in the turbulent revolutionary years to the present day came only a few sketches.