Originally published in French by BDCAF Magazine
Jeanne Hébuterne was the last companion of Amedeo Modigliani and she loved him “to death”. In this very beautiful album coming to Black Panel Press and Tartamudo Editions (French Version), Nadine Van der Straeten paints the portrait of a woman under the influence, taken before her time.
BDCAF’MAG : how did you sort through the documentation?
I recovered the testimonials, conserved the recurring events, I studied the historical texts, in order to immerse myself in French daily life, in this era marked by war, in particular at the heart of the artistic community. I wanted to tell many things, because the couple’s life together was very dense over a very short period of time. But, like a filmmaker, I also wanted to create my character, to transform all of this biographical material into a fluid plot.
BDCAF’MAG : Jeanne received a bourgeoisie education, her parents and her brothers seemed to be kind and close to her. How can one explain her suicide while 9 months pregnant with her second child?
Effectively, Jeanne received a catholic, bourgeoisie education, so certain people have insinuated that she was mistreated by her parents, which is false. They were simply shocked and upset to see her spend her life with a miserable and toxic artist such as Modigliani. Some other stories make it seem as though Jeanne was a reserved young girl, somewhat secretive. I think that her link with Modigliani responded to the obscure side that was already present in her. The death of Modigliani destroyed her, she threw herself from the window just a short time before she was to give birth, two days after the death of her lover.