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    Sale 7737

    Impressionist/Modern Day Sale (immediately following Impressionist/Modern Works on Paper)

    24 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 273

    Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)

    Natura morta

    Price Realised  


    Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)
    Natura morta
    signed 'Morandi' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    11¼ x 15 1/8 in. (28.5 x 38.4 cm.)
    Painted in 1943

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    Painted in 1943, the present work dates from the wartime period which is recognised by many as Morandi's greatest productive phase, when he executed his most splendid and meditative still life studies. Still relatively early in the development of the still life in Morandi's work, up until 1943 he produced a very small number of paintings in comparison to the explosion in numbers that would follow only a few years later. This was a time of evolution, invention, adaptation and of course contemplation. All these are evident in the increasingly abstract and deliberately unimposing manner in which Morandi's paintings conveyed a sense of the harmony and poetry of the visual world around us. With its gentle poise and absorbing lyrical harmony, this painting condenses the 'element of classical quiet and classical purity' that so fascinated Morandi (Morandi, quoted in J. Herman, 'A Visit to Morandi', pp. 26-27, in 'Giorgio Morandi: the dimension of inner space', exh. cat., Giorgio Morandi, Sydney, 1997, p. 27).

    During the 1910s and 1920s, Morandi had been associated with various avant-garde Italian movements, and with Carlo Carrà and Giorgio de Chirico amongst others. However, he had found that the styles that were being developed to reflect the modern age were overbearing and diminished the atmosphere that he sought to convey. He pared away the stylistic advances, reaching a kernel of artistic truth that bridged the gap between the Old Masters such as Piero della Francesca, Vermeer or Chardin and the Metafisica atmosphere that informed the pictures of some of his contemporaries. He created his own brand of classicism, which he continued to develop over the following years.

    'When most Italian artists of my own generation were afraid to be too "modern", too "international" in their style, not "national" or "imperial" enough, I was still left in peace, perhaps because I demanded so little recognition. My privacy was thus my protection and, in the eyes of the Grand Inquisitors of Italian art, I remained but a provincial professor of etching, at the Fine Arts Academy of Bologna' (Morandi, quoted in E. Roditi, 'Interview with Giorgio Morandi', pp. 143-55 in K. Wilkin, Giorgio Morandi: Works, Writings and Interviews, Barcelona, 2007, p. 154).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Galleria Il Milione, Milan (no. 793), by 1964.
    Renzo Pezzotta, Bergamo, by May 1964.
    Galleria Gissi, Turin (no. 2554).
    Dr Franceso Conrieri, Turin, by 1977.

    Pre-Lot Text



    The artist's archive, no. 793.
    L. Vitali, Morandi, Catalogo Generale, vol. I, 1913-1947, Milan, 1977, no. 437 (illustrated).
    J. Jouvet & W. Schmied, Giorgio Morandi, Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Radierungen, Zurich, 1982, no. 48.


    Tampere, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Giorgio Morandi, November 1988 - January 1989; this exhibition later travelled to Leningrad, Museum of the Hermitage, Moscow, Pushkin Museum, London, Accademia Italiana, Locarno, Civici Musei Rusca, Tübingen, Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westphalen and Bologna, Galleria Comunale d'Art Moderna.
    Paris, Galerie Claude Bernard, Giorgio Morandi, Peintures et aquarelles, March - May 1992, no. 18.
    Brescia, Palazzo Martinengo, Giorgio Morandi, Oggetti e Stati d'animo, 1997.
    Winterthur, Kunstmuseum, Giorgio Morandi, April - July 2000, no. 10, p. 122 (illustrated p. 23).
    Tokyo, Seiji Togo Memorial Yasuda Kasai Museum of Art, Italian Still Life Painting, April - May 2001, no. 52 (illustrated p. 91); this exhibition later travelled to Niigata City, Art Museum, Hokkaido, Hakodate Museum of Art, Toyama, Shimin Plaza Art Gallery, Ashikaga, Museum of Art and Yamagata, Museum of Art.
    Ravensburg, Schloß Achberg, Natura morta italiana: Italienische Stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, April - October 2003, no. 85.