Artist biography

Giorgio Morandi 1890-1964

Italian painter and etcher of still life and landscapes. Born in Bologna. Studied at Bologna Academy 1907-13 and became acquainted with the work of Renoir, Monet and Cézanne at exhibitions in Venice and Rome; also admired Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Uccello. From 1909 took Cézanne as his ideal and determined upon exhaustive plastic research within a restricted range of themes. Lived quietly in Bologna, teaching drawing at an elementary school 1914-30, with summers in the country at Grizzana or Rolfeno; never went outside Italy. Brief contacts with the Futurists and Cubism 1913-14, and later worked 1918-19 in a style related to the Metaphysical painting of de Chirico and Carrà: made restrained still-life compositions of hard, smooth forms and ambiguous distortions of perspective. Afterwards concentrated mainly on still-life groupings of bottles and pots, and occasional landscapes. Professor of engraving and etching at Bologna Academy 1930-56. First one-man exhibition at the 1939 Rome Quadriennale. Growing international recognition after 1945, including the City of Venice prize for an Italian painter at the 1948 Venice Biennale and the Grand Prix at the 1957 São Paulo Bienal. Died in Bologna.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.539-40