Andre Salmon, a contemporary of Modigliani's, a French novelist, critic (he helped to attract attention to the painter after an early exhibit), was also an intimate of the whole group-Picasso, Utrillo, Vlaminck, Max Jacob, etc.- in Montmartre at the time that Modigliani came there in 1906. As such, this ""memoir"" is based on his own as well as their reminiscences, scenes, incidents. Even so, the reader doesn't get to know him very well, over and above the impatient ambition which drove him- to drink, hashish, and in the last years (and numbered days) his finest work. Still, this portrait is spattered with many great names and transient meetings; one gets a personal sense of having frequented Montmartre and Montparnasse; of having met Modigliani's closest friends toward the end- Soutine and Fujita; of having witnessed a part of his disorderly life which gained a little direction from Beatrice Hastings, the British poet with whom he lived, and finally Jeanne who provided the more serene inspiration of his final phase. For those with an interest in the painter and the period, an informal portrait- although it is by no means underwritten. There are many fine reproductions of his work, in black and white and color.