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Amedeo Modigliani Reclining Nude from the Back, c.1917




A reclining nude woman on her stomach on burgundy blanket

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Amedeo Modigliani painted "Reclining Nude from the Back" during his 'nude phase,' which lasted from 1916 to 1919. During this period, the artist produced more or less 24 nude paintings, of which approximately half were painted in 1917. While Modigliani usually painted images of family and friends, he used professional models as subjects for his nudes. This painting features a nude woman who is gazing directly at the viewer in a manner that could be interpreted as a subtle invitation to admire her body. The figure is beautifully framed on the canvas. As the light falls on her body, it illuminates her skin, creating a startling contrast with the dark cushion beneath her. Her hands are hidden, and her feet remain outside of the frame, not an uncommon occurrence in nude paintings. This oil on canvas is an image of desire and eroticism, emotions that seemed to envelop Modigliani during those brief three years.
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