My Favorite Artist: Giorgio Morandi

Giorgio Morandi (July 20, 1890 – June 18, 1964) was an Italian painter and printmaker who specialized in still life. His paintings are noted for their tonal subtlety in depicting apparently simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers and landscapes.

Giorgio Morandi

Morandi taught himself to etch by studying books on Rembrandt.

Morandi, even though he lived his whole life in Bologna, was influenced by the works of Cezanne, Derain, and Picasso. In 1910 he visited Florence, where the works of artists such as Giotto, Masaccio, Piero Della Francesca, and Paolo Uccello made a profound impression on him. He had a brief digression into a Futerist style in 1914. In that same year, Morandi was appointed instructor of drawing for elementary schools in Bologna—a post he held until 1929.

During world war I, Morandi’s still life style became more reduced in their compositional elements and purer in form, revealing his admiration for both Cézanne and Rousseau.

Moandi played with a few styles until1922. This was to be his last major stylistic shift; thereafter, he focused increasingly on subtle gradations of hue, tone, and objects arranged in a unifying atmospheric haze, establishing the direction his art was to take for the rest of his life.

n 1929 Giorgio Morandi illustrated the work Il sole a picco by Vincenzo Cararelli,  winner of the Premio Bagutta. From 1930 to 1956, Morandi was a professor of etching at Accademia di Belle Arti. The 1948 Venice Biennale awarded him first prize for painting. He visited Paris for the first time in 1956, and in 1957 he won the grand prize in Sao Paulo’s Biennial.

Quiet and polite, both in his private and public life, Morandi was much talked about in Bologna for his enigmatic yet very optimistic personality. Morandi lived in Bologna, with his three sisters Anna, Dina and Maria Teresa and died of lung cancer on June, 1964.


Morandi’s Painting Style / Soft Subtly Colored & Centered Still-lifes

Morandi’s Drawing Style / Crosshatch


About The Author

Jack Atkinson

Editor, Publisher, Chef, Artist