Monday, November 12, 2012

my accidental art lesson

If you recall I wrote a review of The Bird Catcher by Laura Jacobs in 2010. My main complaint about the book was the numerous esoteric art references which were a distraction from the story. The example I gave was, "She's a Modigliani inside a Braque." And my reaction was, "What?" and "What?" So I looked up Modigliani (and Braque) and really liked this painting, Jeanne Hebuterne in Red Shawl:
Since then I have been unable to escape Amedeo Modigliani. In June I went to the Palm Springs Art Museum with Linny and I knew the instant I saw Head that I was looking at a Modigliani:
On Saturday we took Jake to see Skyfall. In one scene they use this painting to kill someone:
...and I said to myself, I think that's a Modigliani!!! (Letting my mind wander on these kinds of details may have led to my confusion on some of the plot points.)

So when I got home and googled it, I found out that Woman with a Fan was stolen in 2010 and is indeed a Modigliani. (And a Braque was stolen in the same heist! Maybe the author did it.) It also led me to a twitter post where someone asked the same question, and someone else replied, "Yes, it's a Mod." I guess if you're cool you will just call him Mod but I like saying his last name enough to get a dog and name it Modigliani.

If I'm going to be haunted by an artist I'm glad I at least enjoy the artwork.

The morale is that there is something to be learned from books, even the ones with tedious references.

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