Marino Marini (1901-1980)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Marino Marini (1901-1980)


Marino Marini (1901-1980)
stamped with the raised initials and with foundry mark 'MM Fonderia Artistica Battaglia' (on the base); signed 'Marino' (on the belly of the horse)
hand-ciselled bronze with a black patina and partially painted
24. 5 x 25 x 19 cm.
Conceived in 1951, this work is number four from an edition of six plus two artist's proofs
Galerie Der Spiegel, Cologne.
Acquired from the above by Piet and Ida Sanders in 1953.
D. Welling, 'Twintig jaren man te paard: Werken van professor Marino Marini', in: Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad, 26 February 1955.
J. van der Ster, 'Marino Marini', in: De Groene Amsterdammer, 12
March 1955, p. 9 (illustrated).
Anonymous, 'Sculptuur uit verleden en heden', in: De Groene
, 28 November 1957, p. 14 (illustrated).
P. Waldberg (a.o.), Marino Marini: l'oeuvre complet, Paris 1970, no. 286/4, p. 366 (illustrated), as: Cavalier.
P. Waldberg (a.o.), Marino Marini: Leben und Werk, Berlin 1971, no. 286/4, p. 366 (illustrated), as: Reiter.
C. Pirovano, Marino Marini scultore, Milan 1973, no. 292, (illustrated).
S. Hunter, Marino Marini: the sculpture, New York 1993, p. 64 (another cast illustrated p. 65).
M. Meneguzzo, Marino Marini: Il Museo alla Villa Reale di Milano, Milan 1997, no. 13, p. 21 (another cast illustrated).
G. Carandente, Marino Marini: Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculptures, Milan 1998, no. 358, p. 252 (another cast illustrated), as: Rider.
P. Sanders, Herinneringen, Amsterdam, 2009, p. 117 (illustrated).
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans, Marino Marini, 27 February-28 April 1955, no. 31.
Haarlem, Vishal, Facetten der hedendaagse kunst uit drie Nederlandse verzamelingen, 8 September-1 October 1956, no. 8.
Almelo, Kunstkring de Waag, Sculptuur uit verleden en heden. Nederlands particulier bezit, 20 October-2 December 1957, no. 115. Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Man en paard, 11 July-10 September 1958.
Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum, Schiedammers tonen hun kunstbezit, 18 December 1959-16 February 1960, no. 200.
Haarlem, Frans Halsmuseum/De Hallen, Moderne Italiaanse kunst uit Nederlands partikulier en museaal bezit, 12 October-30 November 1969, no. 99.
Amstelveen, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Studio Toscane: Karel Appel, Roberto Barni, 1 October 2011-15 January 2012.
Schiedam, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Collectie Piet en Ida Sanders. Leven met kunst, 30 June-21 October 2012 (illustrated, pp. 56-57).
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

Cavaliere dramatically and compellingly exemplifies Marino Marini's poetic enquiry into the modern significance of the horse-rider. Throughout the centuries, equestrian statuary and its iconography have embodied power, stood for celebration and commemorated leadership. Marini's riders, however, bear no impressive weapons, their poses are less than heroic and their horses are no magnificent steeds. In Cavaliere, the horse shores up its legs wide open, arching his back in fear as he stretched his muzzle of the side, its mouth tensed in a grimace. The rider falls back, hanging precariously, unable to control or command the animal's behavior. Man and horse appear struggling, nervous and unable to find that unison of elegance, poise and nobility that characterised the equestrian monuments of the past.

The surface of Cavaliere conveys as much tension, struggle and drama as its subject-matter. The horse's skin appears scarred, dented and clotted. A long groove crosses the rider's chest and a red cross marks his martyred body. The casting process did not mark the end of Marini's relationship with his sculptures: once cast, he kept working on them, chiseling, corroding and sometimes painting the bronze, treating the surface as a painter would the canvas. Cavaliere is a remarkable and rare example of such practice. It shows Marini's modern contribution to the techniques of bronze sculpture, testing the expressive potential of the medium.

During the Second World War, after a bomb destroyed his studio, Marini took refuge in Switzerland. When he returned to Milan at the end of the conflict, his horse-riders had lost the plenitude, poise and realism of the early works, which were replaced by a sinewy new expressionistic angularity and tension. Cast in 1953, Cavaliere belongs to Marini's most significant and most dramatic period of production. The anxiety, sense of loss and danger expressed by this work are the poetic translation of Marini's historical perception of the Twentieth Century. 'My horse sculptures are symbols of the anxiety that I feel when I observe my epoch,' he explained. 'The Cavalieri bear inside them the stoic patience of the ancient man who see his world crumbles and yet does not surrender' (see: M. Marini, quoted in M. De Micheli, 'Una scultura fra natura e storia', pp. 13-28, in: Marino Marini, exh. cat., Venice 1983, p. 30).

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