Mississhippi's Madness

A place to share my creative pursuits

Inspiration: Giorgio Morandi


I had never seen Morandi’s work until I attended college last year – and I am so glad I was introduced to his work.

Giorgio Morandi (July 20, 1890 – June 18, 1964) was an Italian painter and printmaker who specialised in still lifes and landscapes, with some self portraits.

These are some notes I made on him whilst I was researching his work for a project we completed in class:

  • Morandi restricted the distance between himself and the subjects of his still life. He restricted what he showed us to focus attention on the objects and intensify the sense of intimacy.
  • He was influenced by Cezanne, Monet, Seurat, Raphael and Rousseau
  • He used ordinary objects in his compositions. He marked the position of the objects on a piece of paper and also where he stood to view them (with chalk on the floor) so he could return to the same position the next day.
  • “He shows us that it is not what is looked at that is beautiful in art but how one sees it.” (Giorgio Morandi by Lou Kepac, p18)
  • Morandi let dust accumulate on his bottles and objects, not allowing it to be removed, and painted some bottles inside or out, to camouflage the optical effects of shiny objects to reveal form

If you Google ‘Morandi’ the number of images of his still life paintings and etchings is amazing. Apparently he painted 1300+ oil paintings and over 130 etchings during his lifetime.

I love that he used everyday objects – bottles, vases, jugs – to create his still lifes, reusing those same objects in different ways for his many paintings and etchings. You don’t need a lot of new things to create exciting work.

I found an interesting article about Morandi that goes into more depth than I have here:  Carpetmoss – Research Point: Giorgio Morandi’s powdery calm still lifes . If you’d like to find out more about Morandi, please go and read this.

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life with Five Objects. 1956. Etching on cream wove paper, 15 in. x 18 1/2 in. (38.1 cm x 46.99 cm). Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine, Gift of Charles Pendexter.

His cross-hatched etchings are my favourite of his work. I love the way he created light and form in these drawings.

Morandi inspires me to create.


Author: Elaine

Artist, writer, married, mother, living with Ankylosing Spondylitis and winning (most of the time). My creative impulses have led me to drawing, pastel painting, writing, handcrafts and photography.

12 thoughts on “Inspiration: Giorgio Morandi

  1. I really enjoyed learning about Morandi too and was also inspired.
    Love his work. Learning how he worked was very liberating.
    Thanks for this post.

  2. Lovely post. I really like the style of the etching. It is interesting that he essentially uses the objects for his paintings and yet they all come out so differently.

    • Thanks Anne. His etchings are wonderful – I think I prefer them to his paintings. I was excited to see some of his original paintings and etchings here in Sydney – our art gallery has some on display. It makes such a difference to see them ‘in the flesh’ so to speak. I love that he had a selection of bottles and jugs and objects that he used over and over again in different ways to create his pieces.

  3. I’ve loved Morandi for most of my adult (artist’s) life, and more so in the recent period of rediscovering oil painting.
    How refreshing that you like his etchings best. Thank you, you’ve given me a new angle to appreciate his work.
    I saw a show of his originals in Belgium years ago, amazing. Wish I could see those paint surfaces again now I’m painting too.
    Thanks for liking my latest post.

    • Thanks Sarah. It is always interesting to get others viewpoints on artists and paintings. I have only seen a couple of his original paintings and etchings here in Sydney – it would be grand to see a lot more of his work in one place – lucky you.

  4. I love Morandi too, copying some of his works taught me a lot about mixing neutral colours and being subtle with adding darks to works. We have a lot to learn from him. Cheers

  5. I did not know much about Giorgio Morandi until I bought a home in the hills of Grizzana 10 minutes away from the home he lived out his last years and painted the scenic views that I see every day.

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