Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne Amedeo Modigliani Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

A Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne by Amedeo Modigliani is a beautiful and invigorating work of art. Painted in 1919 it is one of a series of portraits of Jeanne painted by the artist, indeed she was the subject of most of his portrait paintings.

Jeanne was the common-law wife of Amedeo and also a painter in her own right. She was a beautiful young woman who was aptly described by the author Charles Albert-Cingria as “gentle, shy, quiet and delicate”. This description could as easily be applied to the painting as the subject.

The painting portrays Jeanne as a young and beautiful woman; her expression is one of calm but in a way that couldn’t be represented as sullen, rather inviting and warm.

The artist has carefully used colour to bring warmth and depth to the painting. The expressionist painter has as ever painted from the heart creating a picture that encapsulates the personality of the subject rather than just a photographic image, highlighting the warmth of the subject with the splashes of bold colour.

Her thick brown hair and pale pallor are illuminated by the use of colourful lipstick. The background also adds vibrancy with a solid grey wall being set against a bright amber and orange wall.

Jeanne is seated and her clothing whilst traditional, is again brought to life with the rich red colour applied to her blouse. As is common with expressionist art and a key characteristic of the artist’s output the subject is represented with almond shaped eyes and an elongated neck and head, none of which detracts from her obvious beauty.

The expression on her face reflects the description “gentle, shy, quiet and delicate”. Jeanne’s delicateness is further emphasised by her gait and slim figure.

There is a tragic reality that lies behind the love between painter and subject that is so beautifully captured in this work of art. Amedeo sadly died from TB in 1920, an event that led Jeanne to jump to her death that very same day.

However, such tragedy cannot detract from the fact that Jeanne’s beauty and personality lives on in this painting and the other portraits painted by her lover.