Judy Levis Krug Boca Raton Virtual Jewish Film Festival

Modigliani and His Secrets

Expired April 3, 2023 3:45 AM
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Available Mar 12 to Mar 31

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Modigliani’s work is among the most recognizable in modern art, but we know almost nothing about the man himself. Based on an ongoing scientific study, the film reveals the secrets behind the myths surrounding this Bohemian artist, to coincide with the centenary of his death in 1920.

Born in 1884, Amedeo Modigliani left no legacy of correspondence or theoretical writings. The public interest in his work seems to be inversely proportional to the attention paid to his life by art historians. Today, some of his paintings achieve astronomical prices at auction (the 1917 work “Reclining Nude” sold in 2015 at Christie’s for more than 170 million dollars). In parallel, Modigliani is attracting fresh attention, and a handful of historians, art critics, and curators are keen to understand the man behind the legend.

This film sets out to retrace his life, exploring key locations and relationships, and his influences. It will also draw on unprecedented scientific research studying 26 paintings and three sculptures by Modigliani held in French public collections.


There is a Modigliani paradox: although he is one of the most famous figures in modern art, he has left neither correspondence nor theoretical writings; for a long time, art historians and critics have paid very little attention to him. Yet nowadays some of his paintings reach stratospheric prices in auction rooms – the “Nu couché” or “Red Nude” (1917), was sold in 2015 at Christie's for more than 170 million dollars.

The “bohemian” way of life, illness, death in the prime of life (35 years old) in 1920, and the defenestration of his partner Jeanne Hébuterne – 9 months pregnant and only 21 years old the day after her death – have become the building blocks of a modern myth according to which suffering generates genius. Thus was born the legend of the artist “Modi”.

Sponsored by Dorothy Gold and Carolyn Rockoff.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    52 minutes
  • Language
    German, English, French w/subtitles
  • Country
  • Premiere
  • Director