Amedeo Modigliani in Chandler
Judging from the amount of remembrance-specific clutter that is sometimes on his grave (cemetery workers regularly remove it), Amedeo Clemente Modigliani is one of the oft visited people in Pere-Lachaise. Modigliani was born into a Jewish family in Livorno, Italy. The story goes that Amedeo Modigliani saved his family from financial ruin before he was born. Why? The family fell onto hard times and creditors were about to seize all the family’s assets, but an obscure Italian law prevented creditors from seizing the bed of a pregnant woman or a woman with a newborn child. So, the family piled all their money and most valuable assets on Amedeo’s mother’s bed before the creditors arrived, thus saving the family from complete ruin. Amedeo was a troublesome but brilliant child and excelled at art. He was also sickly and developed tuberculosis at an early age. But his talent and good looks opened many doors. He became enamored with drugs, alcohol and hedonism and somehow incorporated his self-destructive lifestyle into his art. Scholars debate whether his lifestyle enhanced his art or hampered him from being an even greater artist. Eventually though, it did him in and he expired at the relatively young age of 36. Alas, many young artists have adopted his lifestyle as a way to access their own creativity.
Much of their rationalization came from a quote by French art critic Andre Salmon (1881-1969) from the day that he abandoned himself to certain forms of debauchery, an unexpected light came upon him, transforming his art. From that day on, he became one who must be counted among the masters of living art. Modigliani died a pauper and was originally buried in Bagneux Cemetery, but was later moved to Pere-Lachaise, where he is spending eternity with his longtime lover, Jeanne Hebuterne (1898-1920), and mother of their child, also named Jeanne (1918-1984). After Modigliani’s death, an inconsolable Jeanne Hebuterne threw herself out of a fifth-story window, killing herself and the couple’s unborn child. Amedeo Modigliani’s epitaph translates: Struck down by Death at the moment of glory. Jeanne Hebuterne’s reads: Devoted companionto the extreme sacrifice. Although Modigliani had died essentially penniless and destitute on June 14, 2010, his sculpture head sold at Christie’s auction house in Paris for $52.8 million. Photo courtesy of Marie Beleyme.
Matthew Jennings See also: Exploration; Maps and Surveys. Bibliography Arciniegas, Germn. Amerigo and the New World: The Life & Times of Amerigo Vespucci. Chandler Map Tourist Attractions Translated by Harriet de Ons. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1955. Morison, Samuel Eliot. The European Discovery of Country: The Southern Voyages. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974. Pohl, Frederick J. Amerigo Vespucci, Pilot Major. New York: Columbia University Press, 1944. Vikings Five centuries before Columbus, the Vikings, a seafaring people from Northern Europe, became the first Westerners to discover and colonize North Country. During their brief stay, they left no lasting influence. Their presence was largely forgotten until recent archaeological discoveries revived interest in the Viking experience in North Country. Scholars dispute the origin of the word Viking. In the old Scandinavian language, vik meant a bay or inlet. Vikings might have been so named because this word would describe where most harbored their boats. Britons called the Vikings Norsemen, which in old English meant men from the north, the direction from which the Vikings approached Britain.
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