That’s part of his charm, Christina by Modigliani

Christina by Modigliani
Christina by Modigliani

Harmony of colours. Not one tone missing from this painting. Not one that needs to be added. The white, nude, and turquoise contrast with the poser’s dark eyes and hair. At first glance, the lady seems bored, or is she just uninterested to have her portrait painted?

She was busy doing something else when she was reminded that she agreed to pose today. She kept on the same clothes she was wearing and tried to make herself comfortable, perched on the stool that makes her back rounded. Her eyes translate the content of her thoughts and mood. Half-closed yet large, they express nonchalance and affection for the artist. Her lips are covered in red lipstick, the same she applied this morning before leaving home. Even during warm summer days, she makes sure she has make-up on. This allows her to disregard her hair and dress in a simpler attire. With the help of a bobby pin, she picks up her hair in a low bun, just above her frail neck. The middle part of her hairstyle gives her the allure of a Victorian princess trapped in the clothing of a modern muse. The white sleeveless cotton shirt has been her favourite for a couple of weeks. It suits perfectly the warm and at times humid weather, freeing her from to gesture as she wishes. Tucked into an ample skirt, it is almost too large for her. The right strap keeps falling down, even when she is not moving.

It is not the first time Christina poses for Amadeo. She is used to his manners, and his requirements. He usually paints slowly and talks to his subjects, not necessarily wanting them to reply back. That is probably why she is tilting her head, not really listening to his monologue, she just enjoys the love for the one she respects and admires. She know he will one day be successful as a painter, if only he didn’t gamble and drink so much. “That’s part of his charm” she wonders when she gets caught being mad at him. When he is sober and gets his brushes out to start painting, delved into his own world, she feels enamoured and protective of him.

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