• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2046

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    6 November 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 103

    Marino Marini (1901-1980)

    Pomona III

    Price Realised  


    Marino Marini (1901-1980)
    Pomona III
    stamped with raised initials 'M' (on the top of the base)
    bronze with golden brown patina
    Height: 16 1/8 in. (41 cm.)
    Conceived and cast in 1943

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The Marino Marini Foundation has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

    A Roman agricultural divinity and the earthy embodiment of motherhood, Pomona incarnates the primitive sensuality and life-giving energy of the female form that distinguish nearly all of Marini's female figures after 1940. The personification of his youthful dream of the eternal feminine idea, Pomona celebrates an Arcadian vision of life that harkens back to the antique Etruscan world, the remote and indigenous pre-Roman past to which Marini laid claim. "My Pomonas," he declared, "belong to a solar world, a solar poetry, to a humanity full of abundance, full of great sensuality. They represent a happy time, which was broken by the tragic times of the war" (quoted in M. de Micheli, "Ideas and Forms," Marino Marini, Milan, 1999, pp. 23-24).

    After his studio and home in Milan were destroyed by the Anglo-American bombing during 1942, Marini fled to Locarno, where he would wait out the end of the Second World War. During these years, he explored archaizing treatments of the female nude, imparting to his rough-hewn Pomonas a vital humanity and intensely physical sensuality he found lacking in the classical tradition of Italian art, whose outworn spirit had been appropriated and abused by Mussolini's fascist regime. The organic syntax of Pomona III, the last in a series of three bronzes executed in 1943, assumes the shape of a relaxed contrapposto; the voluptuous rotundity of the standing figure suggests a fulsome femininity, whose strength stems from the static equilibrium of ruggedly interlocking volumes. Her hands meld into the flesh of her leg and into her braided crown of hair; such primitivized imperfections of her features imbue her body with the natural abundance and fertility of the earth itself. An archetypal earth mother, Pomona III majestically celebrates the eternally sensual force and creative power attributed to her mythological namesake. Marini invests her form with a longing for a pristine golden age, a vision that is as persistent as the human spirit, and all the more necessary in a time of war.


    Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin), New York.
    Acquired from the above by the late owner, September 1949.

    Saleroom Notice

    The Marino Marini Foundation has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
    Please note this work was conceived and cast in 1943.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Estate of Rita K. Hillman


    The Currier Gallery of Art Bulletin, Manchester, New Hampshire, December 1953.
    H. Read, P. Waldberg and G. di San Lazzaro, Marino Marini: Complete Works, New York, 1970, p. 341, no 140.1.
    S. Hunter, Marino Marini: The Sculpture, New York, 1993, p. 223 (another cast illustrated, p. 159; titled Small Pomona).
    E. Braun, et al., Manet to Matisse, The Hillman Family Collection, Seattle and London, 1994, p. 102, no. 30 (illustrated in color, p. 103).


    New York, Buchholz Gallery, Marino Marini, Feburary-March 1950, no. 5.
    Wilmington, Delaware Art Center; Manchester, New Hampshire, The Currier Gallery of Art; Baltimore Museum of Art and Akron Art Institute, Mario Sironi--Marino Marini, October 1953-March 1954.