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.