Amedeo Modigliani's (1884-1920) work is recognized immediately by many people because of the typical elongated shapes. His paintings show his passion for sculpting, a craft which he had to give up in 1915 due to ill health. He was born in the Tuscan town of Livorno and received his academic education in Florence and Venice. In 1906 he established himself in the famous Montmartre area in Paris, where his talent was instantly recognized by the East European avant-garde.
At a young age Modigliani went to the marble-quarries in Carrara to learn the skills of sculpting. Later he became fascinated by the traditional sculptures of Africa and Oceania. These influences are instantly recognizable in the head carved from stone (1911-1912). It is a sanctuary portrait, its shape determined by the perfect vertical lines. It had a meditative and sacred appearance and tin this respect it had links with Modigliani's Hebrew background.