Modigliani’s life has been endlessly mythologised, and his work characterised as style over than substance — it’s important to maintain critical objectivity. Akhmatova was a close friend and correspondent and almost certainly one of his lovers. Brancusi was his mentor (before he abandoned sculpture for painting), and let him share studio space. Among his artist/poet friends who sat for portraits were Picasso, Laurens, Rivera, Gris and Cendrars: also Cocteau, who one of his girlfriends said he detested. But many of his closest Paris artworld friends were fellow-jews: Jacob, Lipchitz, Soutine and Kisling.