Long-Necked Women in Art & Sculpture

Dr. Sunil Deepak, 13 October 2019

After months of travelling from one continent to another, I am finally back home in Schio, just in time for different art and culture initiatives. Last night I went to an art exhibition of local artists at Toaldi Capra palace. There were some nice works by artists like Alida Bertoldi, Galileo Gonzo and Livio Comparin, but what caught my attention (and inspired this post) were some sculptures by the sculptor Antonio Capovilla.

Sculpture by Antonio Capovilla - Image by Sunil Deepak

Capovilla's sculptures are all about tall slim women with long necks. This post is about my fascination with long-necked women in art and sculpture.

B. Prabha's Women

As a child during the 1960s in India, I loved painting. It was in those days that I had discovered the art of B. Prabha, which frequently appeared in the Hindi magazine "Dharamyug". She painted mostly women, often fisher-women holding or sitting around baskets of fish or rural women with birds. Dark and big eyed, often draped in half-saris which were made fashionable by the actress Saira Banu in the 1967 film Shagird, they were all tall slim women with long arms and long necks. For many years, I drew and painted women inspired by her art. Those women influenced my adolescence fantasies. Perhaps, that is the reason, why even today, I love tall, slim, long-necked women in art and sculpture.

Fisher women by B. Prabha

Amedeo Modigliani's Women

Some decades later, in Italy, I saw the paintings of Amedeo Modigliani. His women, with their elongated faces and long necks, immediately reminded me of B. Prabha's women. I think that B. Prabha was inspired by his works, though she made it her own by locating it in the Indian rural milieu, while Modigliani's women were mostly half-body portraits of European urban women.

A painting by Amedeo Modigliani

Long-necked Slim Women in Sculptures

Over the past decades, many sculptors have been consciously or unconsciously inspired by Modigliani's style and make sculptures of long-necked slim women. Here are 3 examples of such sculptures - the first 2 of these are by Mirella Guasti and the third one is by some unknown artists.

Sculpture by Mirella Guasti - Image by Sunil Deepak

Sculpture by Mirella Guasti - Image by Sunil Deepak

Sculptures by unknown artists - Image by Sunil Deepak

To conclude this post, here is another sculpture of two women by Antonio Capovilla, which had provoked this nostalgia trip about my memories of B. Prabha.

Sculpture by Antonio Capovilla - Image by Sunil Deepak


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Dr Sunil Deepak
Schio (VI), Italy

Email: sunil.deepak(at)gmail.com