Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (1884 – 1920) was an Italian artist who worked mainly in France. Primarily a figurative artist, he became known for paintings and sculptures in a modern style characterized by mask-like faces and elongation of form. He died in Paris of tubercular meningitis, exacerbated by overwork and addiction to alcohol and narcotics.

In 2011, a painting of a nude by Amedeo Modigliani fetched nearly $US69 million in New York. When I read that I couldn’t help feeling sad that the artist himself had struggled for most of his life in poverty. I painted this as a tribute to Modigliani, and also as a comment on the standard of beauty for the female body in his age as compared to now.