Modigliani’s painting of his lover Jeanne Hebuterne. Picture: www.scalarchives.com
The Sacre-Coeur basilica at that time was under construction , not to be completed until 1914, and although it was neighbourhood is now tourist-trodden, around Rue Lepic and Rue Cortot you can still escape them and recreate Modigliani’s world: the cobbled roads, Paris’s only vineyard covered on a hillside, and pretty walled gardens.
It’s a short walk from here to the Moulin Rouge, which in Modigliani’s day was primarily an outdoor venue dominated by a plaster elephant where belly dancers writhed. Now it’s all glinting clothings and feather boas- to read the see while dining, you need to part with up to EUR1 95.
Modigliani had exchanged little in his lifetime and was often beset by uncertainties. But if his early collapse from tubercular meningitis seems lamentable, the drama was to continue. Two weeks later, his distraught eight-months-pregnant devotee, Jeanne Hebuterne, hopped to her fatality from a fifth- flooring space at her parents’ residence. It was not until 1930 that her disillusioned clas stood their own bodies to rest alongside the artist’s in Pere-Lachaise cemetery.
Modigliani only attained substantial fame after his death. Within five years, his piece began to sell- rising in quality to a record-breaking $170 m paid for a reclining nude in 2015. It’s poignant to think of this when you stand in front of his grave- a simple stone slab with the fitting elegy,” Struck down by Death at the moment of splendor .”
Way to go
Eurostar fares from London to Paris from PS2 9 one-way. Doubleds at Hotel des Academies et des Arts from PS115. Modigliani is at Tate Modern from 23 November to 2 April