MARINO MARINI (1901-1980)
MARINO MARINI (1901-1980)
MARINO MARINI (1901-1980)
MARINO MARINI (1901-1980)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A NEW JERSEY COLLECTION
MARINO MARINI (1901-1980)

Cavallo e cavaliere

MARINO MARINI (1901-1980)
Cavallo e cavaliere
signed 'MM Marino' (lower right); dated and inscribed 'MARINO 1958-80' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
59 x 45 in. (150 x 114.3 cm.)
Painted in 1958-1980
Marion & Gustave Ring, Washington, D.C.
The American Jewish Committee, Washington, D.C.; sale, Christie's, New York, 11 May 1988, lot 71.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
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. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice. Christie’s has a direct financial interest in this lot. Christie’s has guaranteed to the seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee.
Further details
The Marino Marini Foundation has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Sale room notice
Please note that the correct title for this work is ‘Cavallo e cavaliere’ and not as stated in the printed catalogue.

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Imogen Kerr Vice President, Senior Specialist, Co-head of 20th Century Evening Sale

Lot Essay

'I have always felt the need of the sensory incitement of colour to originate a shape; it is colour that pushes me and puts me in the mood to do something creative. For this reason, I start with colour and after colour I see a line and I see a shape.' - Marino Marini

Cavallo e giocoliere is an astounding testament to Marini’s unique abilities as a colourist. Rendered in numerous vibrant hues of blue, ranging from ultramarine to pastel blue and light turquoise tinged with red highlights, the present picture is undoubtedly one of Marini’s finest and most rare works to have appeared on the market in recent years. Crucially, it is the only work by Marini to have been offered showing the iconic motif of jugglers and horses in this unique palette. The present picture, imposing in its scale, is a dynamic and forceful tour de force of colour and movement; a prime example of the extremely rare blue series in the artist’s oeuvre.

In 1958, when Marini began painting this work, his success was well-established. The previous year, the museum of modern art in Munich had acquired one of his paintings for their permanent collection and Palma Bucarelli, a leading art historian and curator, dedicated a room of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Contemporanea in the Valle Giulia in Rome to his work. In 1959, Marini would embark on one of his most ambitious – and undoubtedly largest – projects: the Monumento all’Aja.

To celebrate his achievements and to find new sources of inspiration, Marini often visited the circus – his passion for it was at its height in this phase. Seeing the Codona brothers on trapeze and Con Colleano on high wire was an extraordinarily fascinating experience for the artist. But most of all, he was enthralled with the performances by Enrico Rastelli, a sensational and incredibly popular juggler, still influential to this day.

In these inspiring performers, Marini saw the descendants of the officiants of ancient rituals that had forged his imagination growing up in Pistoia, being constantly surrounded by remainders of Etruscan art. What fascinated him the most in these shows was the ability of the performers to impart to their bodies what he perceived as archaic rhythms of an almost mythological nature. The present work is a clear example of this: the tension between the static rendering of the horse in the background and the dynamism of the juggler in the foreground is a typical trait in Marini’s oeuvre, one that the artist explored time and time again in his production.

While the subject of jugglers and acrobats is a recurring one for Marini, their depiction in shades of blue is a uniquely exceptional one for the artist. Marini rarely employed this palette, choosing to use it for the rendering of single horses or jugglers, rather than for the dynamic combination of the two. Here, the interplay between the different shades of the pigment adds a newfound depth and mystery to the scene, profoundly complementing its almost mythical imagery. After all, if it weren’t for the cylinder in the bottom left corner, one could almost forget that they are looking at a circus scene, transported by the eerie and mystical atmosphere of a pagan ritual.

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