Modotti, Tina

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Modotti, Tina Gender: M
Assunta Adelaide Luigia Modotti Mondini
born on 16 August 1896 at 11:00 (= 11:00 AM )
Place Udine, Italy, 46n03, 13e14
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
Quoted BC/BR
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 23°59' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 00°59 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 28°51'

Tina Modotti


Italian photographer, model, actress, and revolutionary political activist.

In 1913, at the age of 16, she emigrated to the United States to join her father in San Francisco, California. Attracted to the performing arts supported by the Italian émigré community in the San Francisco Bay Area, Modotti experimented with acting. She appeared in several plays, operas, and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist's model.

While in Los Angeles, she met the photographer Edward Weston. It was through her relationship with Weston that Modotti developed as an important fine art photographer and documentarian. By 1921, Modotti was Weston's favorite model and, by October of that year, his lover. On July 29, 1923, Modotti set sail for Mexico City with Weston and his son Chandler, leaving behind Weston's wife Flora and remaining three children.

Modotti and Weston quickly gravitated toward Mexico City's bohemian scene, and used their connections to create an expanding portrait business. It was also during this time that Modotti met several political radicals and Communists, including three Mexican Communist Party leaders who would all eventually become romantically linked with Modotti: Xavier Guerrero, Julio Antonio Mella, and Vittorio Vidali.

As a result of the anti-communist campaign by the Mexican government, Modotti was expelled from Mexico in February 1930, and placed under guard on a ship bound for Rotterdam. The Italian government made concerted efforts to extradite her as a subversive national, but with the assistance of International Red Aid activists, she evaded detention by the fascist police. Traveling on a restricted visa that mandated her final destination as Italy, Modotti initially stopped in Berlin and from there visited Switzerland. She apparently intended to make her way into Italy and to join the anti-fascist resistance there. In response to the deteriorating political situation in Germany and her own exhausted resources, however, she followed the advice of Vittorio Vidali and moved to Moscow in 1931.

During the next few years she engaged in various missions on behalf of the International Workers' Relief organizations and the Comintern in Europe. When the Spanish Civil War erupted in 1936, Vidali (then known as "Comandante Carlos") and Modotti (using the pseudonym "Maria") left Moscow for Spain, where they stayed and worked until 1939. In April of that year, following the collapse of the Republican movement in Spain, Modotti left Spain with Vidali and returned to Mexico under a pseudonym.

On January 5, 1942, Modotti died from heart failure in Mexico City under what is viewed by some as suspicious circumstances.

Link to Wikipedia biography



Source Notes

Sy Scholfield (c) quotes Letizia Argenteri, "Tina Modotti: Between Art and Revolution" (Yale University Press, 2003), pp. 2-3: "Life in Udine was described as simple but unrewarding . . . Modotti's date of birth, which in the town hall registry appears as August 17, 1896, at 11 a.m., was reported as August 16 in her certificate of baptism, dated January 27, 1897. The correct day is the 16th, as Modotti herself reported in her 1932 Russian documents. The mistake was probably due to the fact that the family neglected to report her birth within the five days prescribed by law. So, postponing the birth date by one day gave them one more day to report it."


  • Vocation : Art : Photography
  • Vocation : Beauty : Model
  • Vocation : Beauty : Model
  • Vocation : Entertainment : Actor/ Actress
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political