Modigliani - Casiatide
They've probably told you a hundred times by now that Modigliani's elongated forms, sharp lines and even surfaces were influenced by African sculpture. And so they were. That's where he looked for them, and that's where he found them.

And why was he looking for them there to begin with? Plenty of reasons. The breakdown of the object into form, and then plane and line, had been progressing inexorably since the Impressionists. Since the Romantics, everything non-Classical was better: the pre-German Germans were better than any other Europeans, and Japanese, and finally African art, was better yet.

From the Romantics Modigliani also got his desire to do everything differently, and to do it differently in public. He may have really been overly fond of drugs and drink, but his tendency to exhibit his penchants in public looks a little disingenuous. So why not abandon European stylistic models for African ones, as well? Another way to be 'original'.

But one thing he forgot to abandon. His tendency to beautify the human figure - and especially the portrait and the female nude - by elongating them is in the most Classical of Classical traditions.
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