Dinner with Modigliani (Monday walk w/JO)

On Monday, I had dinner with Modigliani – and with dessert – I explored some art from the Art Institute of Chicago  – and then with some comforting evening tea, I soaked up a little wordplay with good ol’ Richard Lederer.

The best part is that I never left my house for this lovely adventure – because this week’s Walk with Jo is a promenade with books!

I had the chance to connect with a few of the books that have been patiently waiting for me! So in today’s post, I share a virtual stroll….

First – some portrait art from Modigliani:

Amedeo Modigliani Portrait Art collage - priorhouse 2014


Did you notice the elongated portrait style and dark outlining used by Modigliani?

Well this was influenced by Cézanne and Toulouse-Lautrec’s Expressionistic work.

And I guess Modigliani really loved Cézanne, because whenever Cézanne’s name came up – Modigliani would pull out a little copy of Boy in a Red Vest (below) and “kiss it.”

Boy in Red Vest by Cezanne 1888 or 1890


Modigliani was Italian, but he worked in France – and I read that while Picasso envied Modigliani’s smooth attire, he did not care for his art.  Picasso even painted over a Modigliani painting so he could use the canvas.

Sadly, alcohol and drug use became a way of life coping for this sharp-dressed, artistic party boy – and he tragically died at 35! It is suspected that he drank and used drugs because he had many physical illnesses – and later contracted TB, which there was no cure at the time.  But reading this seemed like another example of how “coping by doping” is never a solution!


I made a video slideshow with Modigliani portraits -and I apologize that I do not have the time to insert the titles.

Side note – it was a little hard to pick the right song to go with the feel of Modigliani’s work because I wanted the rhythm of the music to work with (help) the slower feel of the portraits – while I also wanted the lyrics to align with this eccentric male artist – who resented academic art and eclectically and tragically succumbed to self-indulgneces.  “Wasting My Time” by The Fallout seemed to be the best fit….


Second, here is a work from the AIC book that really spoke to me, it is charcoal drawing of Gorky’s mother.

gorky - charcoal drawing of artist's mother - AIC - priorhouse 2014
Source: AIC (click photo for more info)


Lastly, here are a few wordplays from Lederer’s Get Thee to a Punnery.


Teachers are degraded

Farmers are distilled

Hairdressers are distressed

Mourners are decried

Swearers are discussed

Ball players are debased

Bankers are distrusted and disinterested

Dog Catchers are debarked

Songwriters are denoted

Tennis players are deduced and defaulted

Poker Players are discarded 

Brides are dismissed

Stenographers are denoted

Telephone operators are disconnected 

Train engineers are derailed

Alcoholics are delivered


Have a nice day and to join in on some other Walks with Jo – go HERE.


P.S. Three weeks before Modigliani died, he wrote this in his notebook:

“A new year.  Here begins a new life.” 

Modigliani worked right up until his death and he never gave up!  Let us all remember to push on no matter what is going on – let us never give up – today is a new day and good things are in store!

49 thoughts on “Dinner with Modigliani (Monday walk w/JO)

    1. thanks so much K – ❤

      oh – and your two silly santa photos – driving by in that photo – well here is a pun for that one –
      I thought Santa was going to be late, but he arrived in the Nick of time. ha!

      and maybe one more (if it not getting to cheesy up in here…)

      How does Santa Claus take pictures for his blog? With a North Pole-aroid camera.


      1. HEHEHEEEE! I wish I knew them BEFORE I posted the silly photo Y !!


    1. well said grandpa Andy – Matthew 6:34:
      “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (and Philippians 4:13 of course…)
      Have a nice week and hope your writing projects are going well. phew.


    1. and here is a pun for you my cycling friend…

      Some cyclists who were also artists got together and discussed race and color.


  1. Ooh…I enjoyed the art but absolutely LOVED the play on words. Alcoholics are delivered… Hahaha!


    1. Thanks Kan 🙂 and here is a foodie one…

      The food taster quit his job because he had too much on his plate.
      Those who change the color of their food are on a dye-it.
      Food that goes rotten is un-pallet-able.



      1. hehehe… u are so creative Yvette!
        I racked my brains to come up with a punny reply, but couldn’t 😦


      2. well you did – with “punny” O_o
        and while I am sure you have enough on your plate (ha!) but someone sent me this pun of the day link…. I am not signing up for the regular delivery – but good to know they have 3500 puns waiting for us….


    1. Hey Bill! 🙂
      I doubly agree – on both – Cezanne all over it – and also with that feel that is all M’s – with the enlongation and positioning of bodies, etc. – I also wonder if he would have fared better if he was born later – like at a time when drugs could cure TB and there were rehab facilities for the alcohol and drug use…. who knows – he may have been worse off – hmmm


      1. haha – very funny. And shhhh – I actually do not like most of Picasso’s works – I love his many cubism pieces – most of all his “blue period” works – “some” of the rose period – but then other stuff I do not like at all – and I have some strong opinions about him – but I digress….. – oh but it is kind of ironic that the so called honorary banquet Picasso held for Henri Rousseau, which was really to make fun of him – well it just so happened to give Henri recognition- but I do not think I would have ever wanted to sit down and talk to Picasso –

        Lastly – have you ever painted over someone else’s work on a canvas? I have issue with it. Many times we would get donations into the art room and so as a treat – some of the students would get the larger, discarded paintings that were really of no value – and we would prime them up and they’d be ready to go – but sometimes it does NOT work out so well – like if there is texture – or dark pigments – that is hard to cover up –
        but also, there is just an energy to a used piece- where it starts to feel wrong – and what if we are covering something that someone would think is a masterpiece in 100 years likely not – but I feel it is not for me to decide – – and so I moved away from re-using canvases – it felt wrong….


  2. This is such an inspiring post, Yvette! Thank you so much for introducing Modigliani’s art works!


  3. Have always loved Modigliani and the word Punnery is fantastic!! Reminded me of the annual competition for clever word twists. This year’s winner: Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end. My favorite this year was Did you hear about the guy who’s whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now. LOL 🙂


    1. okay Tina – still laughing – how pun! I mean fun. And after your last post with a trio of photos – I see that “as an artist – you sure know where to draw the line…” ha! jk.


  4. Loved looking at M’s work! I thought that the paintings of the men were more characteristic than the women. Thanks for taking the time to put this together:)


    1. Thanks dear jesh-stg (or should I say painter extraordinaire….) and well as I am sure you know – M is also noted for his many nudes – but that is not really my preference of subject – and is certainly not what I would ever create a slide show of – ha! 🙂


  5. A friend of mine introduced me to Modigliani – it must be more than fourteen years ago! I love his work! The eyes in some of these portraits are very penetrating! My favourite is the portrait of the young girl about 1:03 into your slide show – she looks so familiar! And this is the first time I’ve seen a photo of the man himself. Strange – he doesn’t look at all like I expected!! Illogically, I imagined him to have a long slender face!


    1. I clicked on Post Comment too soon!! Yvette, I wanted to say I really enjoyed this post – thanks so much for putting it all together!


      1. well thank you Jill – appreciate it much….. and girl, let me tell you – I have been thinking of that scarfed yellow pant suit plane landing for days – and still smile each time…. hope you have a good rest of the week


    2. Hey Jill – well I am enjoying learning more about M as well – although I reached my saturation point for now – lol -but I guess a lot of his work was under the influence of stuff – but he was also breaking free of earlier academic training and was throwing out his earlier, more tech works (and that is why I liked the wasting time song – the attitude seemed aligned).
      – so as I was soaking up his pieces – with his intentional blurs and purposeful things (like eyes that left undone) – and as I was soaking up the Cezanne feel to it all- I found that the personality he infused of each sitter was striking – the mood and the sass or feel of the individual was captured with his brush strokes… and that is what a great original painter does – they do not always have to give us an exact picture like replica – they give us an artsy rendition of the person…

      how funny about the face you expected – and I am going to check on your fav at 1:03 – I put some of my favs near the end -and in the collage I like most of those the most. ❤ ❤ ❤


      1. Hi Yvette, I’ve shared this on my Facebook page, for the friend who introduced me to Modigliano – she’s a fan of his painting -and then I double checked your about page – are you okay with me sharing it?


  6. I am not an artist nor an expert in analyzing art, but I think Modigliani was a great artist.
    I love what you said “Let us all remember to push on no matter what is going on – let us never give up – today is a new day and good things are in store! ” and I agree with you. Everyday is a blessing and we should always be thankful for that. Everyday means a new day to do our best and achieve our goals in life.



  7. You wouldn’t be encouraging people to be lazy on my walks, by any chance, would you, Yvette? 🙂 🙂
    I love that I never know quite what I’m going to get with you but I know that it’ll be innovative.


    1. lazy? whew – I was exhausted from all that art – just kidding – but the truth is I was drained from trying to read Carol Mann, the author of the Modigliani book I read (one of my fifty cent treasures from a while back) – and well, Carol’s writing is so difficult to choke down and I cannot stand her style – but thankfully her extra details – and the art – made up for it – anyhow, thanks for the compliment – and during your last walk – you showed a pic with your hubs in the background on the phone – and for some reason, that shot has stayed with me this week – not just for the cameo – but the whole comp.


  8. What a great job with the slide show. And the music works great!


  9. Thank you for such a marvelous walk! I wasn’t really drawn to Modigliani when I was studying art history, but now I find the strong color use and stylized design really striking. Thanks for the reminder to revisit artists!


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