"Modigliani settled in Paris in 1906 and died there at the age of thirty-five. A commercial and critical failure in his lifetime, his work now seems the most accessible and appealing of the modern era. But the details of his dramatic life and tormented character remain largely unknown. This biography illuminates Modigliani's Jewish-Italian background and temperament; his intellectual influences; his intense friendships with the writers and painters - Picasso, Utrillo, Brancusi, Soutine and Rivera - who came from all over Europe to create the most stimulating artistic milieu of the twentieth century; his relations with the most important women in his life; the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, the South African feminist Beatrice Hastings, the French-Canadian Simone Thiroux and the self-sacrificial young Parisian Jeanne Hebuterne; his addiction to absinthe, ether and hashish; his self-destructive impulse; the lifelong tuberculosis that finally killed him; the meaning of his poetry; the significance of his innovative sculpture, portraits and nudes; and his posthumous legend."--BOOK JACKET.