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.
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
Not on display
© Giorgio Morandi/SIAE. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Morandi, Galleria Lorenzelli, Italy, Dec 1962–Dec 1962
Omaggio a Giorgio Morandi, Centro d'Arte Dolomiti, Italy, 24 Dec 1969–10 Jan 1970
Giorgio Morandi: The dimension of inner space, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 May 1997–13 Jul 1997
Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from Australian collections (2000), S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, 15 Jan 2000–27 Feb 2000
Less is more: Giorgio Morandi and Gwyn Hanssen Pigott, Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle, 05 Mar 2011–08 May 2011
Matisse and the moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Apr 2015–25 Oct 2015
Modernists: selections from the European collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 07 Nov 2015–25 Apr 2016
Margaret Olley: A Generous Life, Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 15 Jun 2019–13 Oct 2019
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.).
Giorgio Morandi the master of 20th century Italian painting, Sydney, 1997, back cover (colour illus.).
Morandi: catalogo generale, Milan, 1983, (illus.). cat.no. 1050, collection Giovanni Battista Verrando
Look, 'The Timelessness of Giorgio Morandi - 'Still Life' (1957)', pg. 13, Heidelberg, Apr 1998, 13 (colour illus.).
Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue
Giorgio Morandi: the dimension of inner space, Sydney, 1997, 58 (colour illus.). plate no. 28