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Modigliani - A Life
Book Review

An enigma, a tortured artist, the handsome Amedeo Modigliani lived the high life and died in 1920, at the age of thirty-five, in poverty and neglect  in the City of Lights. He was an Italian Jew from a bourgeois family. It was the tuberculosis he contracted at 16 which ultimately led to his death.

“Modigliani: A Life”  by Jeffrey Meyers (Harcourt, $27.00, 288 pages) is an important book about a man who  died too soon, too ravaged, a man who wasted so many of his God-given gifts.

He was known as "Modi," to friends, quite a few of whom lived the rowdy and careless life and times with him.  Modigliani’s life and paintings thrived on chaos. And although Meyers in a skilled biographer and the book is highly recommended – there are touches of chaos in the writing throughout as he attempts to weave too many strands into the tapestry of this tragic artist together.

Ironically and sadly, the art world today looks upon Modigliani and his works with much favor; unfortunately when he lived Modigliani was an artist who labored in obscurity.

NOTABLE: For those travelers among you, the book to take everywhere is “Globetrotter’s LogBook” from Belgian publisher  Morton, Diaz and Cook ($12.95 euros, 192 pages) has just a little bit of everything in its pocket size pages - -a vaccination log,  places for a hotel stamps, data on nations around the world and many pages for you to jot down memories or things to do. To order or learn more go to the web site @  

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About the Authors:  Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.

They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.


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