Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was one of the many and diverse talents who were drawn to Paris in the early years of this century, making the city a vibrant but pressurized environment for artistic expression. A legend grew up around Modigliani, who, along with others, engendered the concept of the peintre maudit- the accursed painter - whose poverty corruption and excess were the very seeds from which his remarkable works of art were conceived.
Unlike the Italian Futurists, who stormed at their own overwhelming tradition, -Modigliani seemed to sense the possibility of returning to it for renewal. His interpretation of a central theme of the tradition, the reclining female nude, produced a series of uniquely beautiful works, outstanding in the grace and harmony of their linear designs and the quality of their colour. Nudes, portraits and studies of a surprising range of personalities and psychological types are represented in this ideal introduction to the artist, as is a selection of his remarkable stone carvings, of which about 25 survive.