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Adrienne (Woman with Bangs) by Amedeo Modigliani
Adrienne (Woman with Bangs) by Amedeo Modigliani

Adrienne (Woman with Bangs), 1917

Amedeo Modigliani

The painter’s brushstrokes are readily apparent in this portrait of a woman with short red hair, arched brows and a shapely mouth — it makes for a dynamic, busy surface. Along with contemporaries Matisse and Picasso, Modigliani incorporated the influence of African sculpture into his paintings. He was captivated by the “strange and novel forms” of it, a fellow artist wrote. You can see this influence in Adrienne’s mask-like presentation: the long, oval shape of her head, shapely eyes, long nose and extended neck. She looks like a woman, but also recalls African masks that represent spirit beings.

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