Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was a key figure of early 20th century art. Living in Paris from 1906, he associated with artists such as Picasso and Brancusi and took part in the most important artistic debates of the day. Nonetheless, his determination to remain apart from any movement or school has meant that his work has received little attention from traditional art historical scholarship. The exhibition Modigliani and his Times, jointly organised by the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza and Fundación Caja Madrid (5 February to 18 May 2008), and the associated course, will aim to return Modigliani to the position that he merits by presenting his work in a dialogue with that of his masters and fellow-artists in Monparnasse.
Francisco Calvo Serraller, the exhibition's curator, started the course with a lecture on the artistic environment that encouraged the development of Modigliani's particular style. Lectures by other experts together offered a survey that aims to introduce the Madrid public to the thorny issue of the École de Paris through the work of one of its most important figures. Topics such as Modigliani's links with other artists and writers in Montparnasse, his contribution to the genre of portraiture and the modern nude, his appoach to the "eternal female", the reception of his work and the exhibitions of it held in his lifetime, his influence in Spain, and the legend that grew up around his figure will all be analysed in the course. Participants will gain a more profound knowledge of the role of Modigliani within the panorama of French art of the day and of his overall historical importance.