Painting Techniques of Schiele, Morandi, Modigliani, and Cezanne

At the beginning of May I attended my last but one elective course in my art studies. I was already familiar with Cezanne and Schiele, but it was my first encounter with Morandi and Modigliani.

Excerpts from the course description:

All four artists are representative for a groundbreaking visual language, because all depictions and expressions are impartation, which means seeing “something” in the light of  the “other”.

Egon Schiele (1890 – 1918) aimed to show in his idiosyncratic work above all the “inner truth” through artistic means. In doing so he was always searching to show the psychological mood of the persons, may it be in an act, or in an existential “for itself” depicted object or landscape, in their fateful, individual being – as opposed to the mostly superficial “by itself” (per se) conventional representation.

Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964) prefers to deal with the magic of simple forms of things, which through their sobriety and reduction as well as their pastel tones, transform the common place objects into treasures.

Amedeo Modigliani (1884 – 1920) wants to depict a person in such a way that his basic, existential essentially seems to be “poured” into a body shape. Soft and flowing figuration, that often seems archaic, with almond-shaped often sightless eyes, turns the person into an exchangeable “transitory object” and art object.

Paul Cezanne (1839 – 1906) wants to see art as a “harmony parallel with nature.” He is deemed groundbreaking in technique and style for the avant-garde (fragmentation of contours, and colors, reduction of forms to geometrical object, alienation and glorification of the trivial, etc.), as the “caesura” and thereby “Father of Modernism”.

After a thorough introduction into the biography and painting techniques of these four artists, each of us chose one artist for the practical application in our own paintings.

I was especially intrigued by the style of Modigliani, even though I could not go as far as painting the same kind of sightless empty eyes. Nevertheless, I tried to apply his other principles in my own paintings.