July 12 is the birth date of Italian Jewish artist and sculptor Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (Livorno, 12 July 1884 – Paris, 24 January 1920), whose life was unforgivably short but enriched with magic of art and dignity of style.
His modern portraits and nudes with elongated faces and figures did not get a fair reception during his lifetime.
Today those are scintillating art pieces worth tens of millions each and hosted by the Sotheby’s and Christie’s and accommodated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Modi (as friends used to call him) was a young strong man with a beautiful Roman head, absolutely perfect features and shining, jet-black hair, which usually was tousled.
He arrived in Paris in 1906 wearing an elegant tailored suit, probably made of corduroy, which was his favourite fabric.
However, meeting with Picasso and other artists had an impact on his bourgeois style in favour of workman-like garb to fit in better in the bohemian milieu. Therefore he later wore his numerous suits with checked shirts and a red belt.
Furthermore, he also possessed ability of harmonising colours and was the first in Paris to wear a shirt of cretonne.
“There’s only one man in Paris who knows how to dress and that’s Modigliani.”
Today he and his wardrobe, where elegance meets sloppiness and nonchalance dances with neatness, must be a great source of inspiration for the post-modern man.
As well as Modigliani’s art with a slight stroke of African mystery, as his wardrobe, enviously described by his friends and enemies, might never go out of style.