Art: The Fast Way

Amedeo Modigliani was handsome, sensual, tuberculous, and usually drunk. He hit Paris at 22, soon started a spree that death stopped in 1920, 14 years later. Sober hours he devoted to painting and a little sculpture. His artist friends, including Soutine, Brancusi and Utrillo, thought him great. His acquaintances thought him accursed. The police thought him a nuisance, closed his only one-man show because the nudes in it were so frankly sexy. The public never thought of him at all.

Today every art student knows Modigliani's name, and thousands more admire his work. Their...

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