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Amadeo Modigliani (1884-1920) was born in leghorn of a distinguished Italian-Jewish family and had his first training in Paris before going to Paris in 1906. He spent the rest of his life there. He was a superb draughtsman and all his work contains echoes of Botticelli, of Sienese Trecentro painters, and of some of the Mannerists, so that he is truly the greatest Italian artist of the twentieth century. He was handsome, amorous and addicted to drink and drugs. He said, I am going to drink myself dead, and he did.

Girl in a White Chemise (1918) is among the oil paintings done in the South of France that lack the sexual intensity of the great series of nudes of 1917. In this painting, there is hardly even any coyness in the pose and gesture of the girl-child whose petticoat slips down to reveal a small breast. She is in the tradition of the shepherdess or milkmaid as observed by the townsman; a decorative tradition active in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that had no social significance. As in the best of his southern paintings, she is painted with economy, simplicity, directness and absence of fuss, with that fresco-like appearance that constantly reminds one of the Italian in Modigliani.