Friday, February 09, 2007

Jeanne Hébuterne — Art As A Grail

This is a photograph of Jeanne Hébuterne. It was taken around 1918 when she was twenty years old. A friend described her then as, “gentle, shy, quiet and delicate.”

This is a painting of Jeanne Hébuterne. It was painted also around 1918 by Amedeo Modigliani when Hébuterne was Modigliani’s model and muse. Two years later, when Modigliani died, Hébuterne was so grief-stricken at the loss of her lover she committed suicide.

A contemporary British artist named Quentin Blake gives this advice to aspiring artists: “When you’re drawing from life—from something sitting right there in front of you—there’s a problem with too much information. You are seeing more than you can ever possibly get down on paper. Putting pen to paper feels a bit like trying to catch a waterfall in a cup. A small sense of hopelessness sets in. But don’t despair. Drawings get better with time. Even yours. Afterwards, when the thing itself is gone from view, that little drawing will suddenly bloom; and you’ll discover for yourself how much of a waterfall actually does fit into a cup.”

Jeanne Hébuterne’s Wiki page

Amedeo Modigliani’s Wiki page

Quentin Blake’s web site

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