12 January 2010
"Devoted companion to the extreme sacrifice"
Green-eyed Jeanne Hébuterne was the vulpine ideal of all Amedeo Modigliani had been questing for. Two days after he died of meningitis, aged 46, she, aged 21 and 8 months pregnant, walked backwards out of a window. They left behind a small daughter, Jeanne Modigliani, aged 2, to be raised by relatives who scoured the family tree of her bohemian, wild-living begetters. The little girl, who knew not from whence she sprang, grew up a painter, like them, and devoted her life to restoring her mother's artist legacy. Her father's legacy as a painter required no such assistance (his "Portrait of Jeanne Hébuterne" sold for $15.1 million at auction in 1998.)