Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)
Morandi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, receiving his diploma in 1913. He studied the works of Paolo Uccello, Giotto and Masaccio in Florence and collected black and white reproductions of paintings he could not see at first hand, particularly those by Cézanne, Derain and Henri Rousseau. In 1912 he began to teach himself to etch using old manuals and the medium continued to be important to him throughout his career. Morandi exhibited with the Futurists in 1914, but was never influenced by their aesthetics or interested in their cultural agenda. The Metaphysical works of de Chirico and Carrà inspired him to create a small number of still lifes with groupings of enigmatic objects, but by 1919 he had abandoned such compositions to pursue more formal qualities in his still lifes. Morandi participated in the Novecento exhibitions of 1926 and 1929, but his work had greater affinity with the Strapaese movement, which was inspired by provincial cultural traditions. Morandi did not visit Paris until 1956 but was always well-informed about the cultural debates of his age. From 1930 until 1956 he held the Chair in Printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, but continued to paint until his death.

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life with Jugs, 1956 © DACS 2007