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Still life



Giorgio Morandi


20 Jul 1890 - 18 Jun 1964


A reticent and quiet man who eschewed the successive fashions of European modernism, Morandi devoted his artistic career to the unhurried contemplation of the objects and landscapes of his native Bologna. The objects he painted and drew were invariably prosaic. Morandi gathered them together into intimate clusters. An unerring judge of proportion, he imbued these compositions with an extraordinary sense of unity, realising the lyric possibilities of his objects through subtle intervals of colour, tone and space. The familiar forms of jars and pots are simplified, yet their essential qualities seem to be heightened. In this way Morandi suggests an abstract monumentality: a characteristic associated with metaphysical painting. The classic composure of Morandi's work depends on a technique that leaves nothing to chance or improvisation.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.


Alternative title

Natura morta



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


35.4 x 40.9 cm stretcher; 61.5 x 67.0 x 5.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed u.r., grey oil "Morandi". Not dated.


Purchased with assistance from the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 1997

Accession number


Artist information

Giorgio Morandi

Works in the collection


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Gino Ghiringhelli, Milan/Italy, Owner of the Galleria del Milione in Milan, Ghiringhelli acquired the painting directly from Morandi.

Galleria Falsetti, Prato/Italy

N Mobilio, Florence/Italy

Galleria Odyssia, Rome, Rome/Italy

Cesare Tosi, Milan/Italy, Sold to Cesare Tosi in the late 1950s

Galleria Lorenzelli, Milan/Italy, label verso, Galleria Lorenzelli Milano / Mostra Maggini Morandi / Dicembre 1962

Giovanni Battista Verrando, Verona/Italy, After Cesare Tosi died the painting passed through many collections ending up in the collection of Giovanni Battista Verrando by 1983. Listed in Vitali, no.1050, as collection Giovanni Battista Verrando

Galleria della Scudo, Verona/Italy, Acquired from Verrando in the mid 1980s.

Addison Ltd., Monaco

Galleria della Scudo, Verona/Italy, Purchased by the AGNSW from Galleria della Scudo 1997

Referenced in 8 publications


John Berger, Art Monthly Australia, 'How is it there? An open letter to Marisa', pg. 15-20, Canberra, Sep 2000, 19 (illus.).

Edmund Capon, Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 1998, 'Director's Statement', pg. 7-8, Sydney, 1998, 7 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', pg. 17-77, Sydney, 1999, 67 (colour illus.).

Lou Klepac (Curator), Giorgio Morandi: the dimension of inner space, Sydney, 1997, 58 (colour illus.). plate no. 28

Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue

Wendy Symonds (Editor), Look, 'The Timelessness of Giorgio Morandi - 'Still Life' (1957)', pg. 13, Heidelberg, Apr 1998, 13 (colour illus.).

Lamberto Vitali, Morandi: catalogo generale, Milan, 1983, (illus.). 1050, collection Giovanni Battista Verrando

Editor Unknown (Editor), Giorgio Morandi the master of 20th century Italian painting, Sydney, 1997, back cover (colour illus.).