MARINO MARINI (Pistoia 1901 - Viareggio 1980) PROFILE PORTRAIT OF GIORGIO MORANDI (1948)
Black chalk, stumped. Signed with the monogram 'M M'.
PROVENANCE: Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti (1910-1987), Private collection, Florence.
LITERATURE: 'Critica d'Arte, L, IV serie, n. 7, 1985, p. 58.
Marco Scotini, 'Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti e il carattere cinematografico della visione', catalogue of the exhibition, Lucca, 1999-2000, p. 327.
Apparently it has never been noted before that the drawing has been done on one of the four sides of a thin sheet of wove paper folded in half. On each of the other three sides there is a drawing in black chalk by Umberto Milani (1912-1969). The size of the side of the paper used for the portrait is about 19,5 x 28,8 cm.
The drawing has been notified as of cultural interest in accordance with the Law n. 42 of 22nd January 2004 (Testo Unico Beni Culturali ) and later amendments.
One of the leading Italian sculptors of the 20th century, Marino Marini was also a painter, a printmaker and a excellent draughtsman. Born in Pistoia, he attended the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. He devoted himself primarily to sculpture from about 1922. From this time his work was influenced by Etruscan art and the sculpture of Arturo Martini. Marini succeeded Arturo Martini as professor at the Scuola d'Arte di Villa Reale in Monza, near Milan, in 1929, a position he retained until 1940, when he became Professor of Sculpture at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. During the 1930s he traveled frequently in Europe. In Paris he associated with De Chirico, Campigli, De Pisis. He was in contact with many of the distinguished modern artists of that time, including Braque, Picasso and Giacometti. However, Marini was not influenced by their styles or movements, remaining essentially isolated in his artistic aims. Since the Second World War Marino Marini has been widely recognized internationally as one of the outstanding creative figures in contemporary sculpture.
Marini has portrayed in his sculptures other artists, including De Pisis, Moore, Carrà, Melotti, but never portrayed Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), one of the most important Italian painters of his day and one of the few Italian artists of his generation to have evolved a style of pure pictorial values congenial to modernist abstraction. The drawing presented here demonstrates the extreme ability of Marini of suggesting plastic values with a few signs of chalk, which is a characteristic of the draughtsmanship of the great sculptors. At the same time shows his sensitivity in evoking the salient and intimate features of the character of Morandi, an artist of great rigor but rather isolated, who led a secluded life in Bologna.
Apparently it has never been noted before that the drawing has been done on one of the four sides of a thin sheet of wove paper folded in half. On each of the other three sides there is a drawing in black chalk by Umberto Milani (1912-1969). Two of the three drawings are signed, and there are evidences that all the three have been drawn before the portrait by Marini.