Belfast Telegraph

Artist Modigliani’s studio virtually recreated in Tate Modern show

Experts spent five months undertaking historical research and mapping the space to create the studio.

Artist Modigliani’s Paris studio has been brought to life with virtual reality at Tate Modern.

Visitors to a new show will feel as though they are inside the Italian-born painter and sculptor’s studio, sitting within reach of his palette, rum bottle, burning candle and bed, when they put on special headsets.

Experts spent five months undertaking historical research and mapping the space for the virtual reality studio, complete with over 60 objects, for its Modigliani exhibition.

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A still from the virtual reality experience at Tate Modern (Preloaded)

The exhibition’s curator Nancy Ireson told the Press Association: “The historical detail has all been thought about very carefully, down to a tin of sardines and a door handle.

“It’s just so wonderful to have a feel for that space. It’s really carefully researched…

“For the first time at Tate Modern we are using virtual reality to really help us connect with the artist’s time in a very fresh way.”

The exhibition also features a series of 12 “spectacular” female nudes, which “scandalised” society with their depictions of body hair.

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The paintings were censored by the authorities during the artist’s lifetime.

Ireson said: “The paintings showed women with body hair. Traditionally, in art history, nudes didn’t have body hair and because of that Modigliani’s show was censured.

“One hundred years later the works still have that power to shock. They are very sensual, the models really take up the space of the canvas…

“Even now the kind of nudity that Modigliani shows is very powerful. It’s confrontational. These women seem very self-assured, they’re very sexually charged images…

“That very unapologetic femininity that you get in Modigliani’s nudes still has the power to unsettle.”

Impoverished, Modigliani, who worked in Paris from 1906, died in 1920 aged just 35 from tubercular meningitis.

But in 2015, his painting Reclining Nude fetched $170 million (£113 million) at an auction in New York, setting a world record for the artist.

The exhibition also features sculptures, landscapes and portraits of fellow artists as well as Jeanne Hebuterne, the mother of Modigliani’s unborn child.

Hebuterne committed suicide by throwing herself out of a fifth-floor window when the artist died.

:: Modigliani runs at Tate Modern from November 23 this year to April 2 2018.

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