Modigliani and Anna Akhmatova
It could only happen to me in Venice. Having completed my early morning yomp along the fondemanta of the island of La Giudecca with, incidentally, one of the world’s most staggering beautiful views of Venice rising out of the lagoon. I popped into my local cafe-bar, La Palanca, for a post-yomp espresso where I listened, enraptured, to a woman telling me how the famous Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, was one of the reasons why Modigliani switched from sculpture to painting. I believe another was a lack of materials.
Anyway, the story goes that Anna and her husband came to Paris where they met Modigliani. Having returned to Russia, Anna persuaded her husband to let her return to Paris alone where she had an affair with Modigliani. Anna was way over 6ft tall and was the inspiration behind the distinctive style of Modigliani’s paintings.
Here’s the Wikipedia entry on Anna Akhmatova. You can understand why I was so rivetted by the story, even though it what was at 8am!
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