Amedeo Modigliani was born in Livorno, Italy in 1884. In 1906 Modigliani moved to Pairs and settled in Montmartre, the centre of the avant-garde world at the time. Within a year he had become a drug and alcohol addict and had destroyed all his early work which he considered bourgeois. Modigliani was influenced by Cezanne, the Symbolists and later the Italian primitives as well as African and Oceanic sculpture.

In March 1929, Alex Reid & Lefevre Gallery opened the first one-man exhibition of Modigliani's work to be showcased in London.