Amedeo Modigliani was the quintessence of a tragic artist. After he discovered narcotics, he developed the philosophical confidence that the only path to creativity was through defiance of social rules and chaos in life. Living in Paris, he had affairs with women, drank heavily, smoked hashish, and drank absinthe. He was against all of the excesses of a Bourgeois lifestyle, and thus stripped them from his life, even destroying paintings that he had made in his earlier years. Thus he began a life which would ultimately end with his untimely death and the suicide of his grief-stricken wife and their unborn child.
Although he purposely created a life in which chaos, poverty, and trouble lurked in every corner, he was a prolific artist. His formal works are characterized an elongation of the human form and mask-like faces, and his work is so unlike any other of his time that it still defies classification.