Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale


Giorgio Morandi
1890 - 1964
signed Morandi (lower right)
oil on canvas
30 by 45cm.
11 3/4 by 17 3/4 in.
Painted in 1953.
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Galleria del Milione, Milan
A. Montalto, Milan
Battista Pero, Milan
Private Collection, Italy (acquired from the above in 1959)
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Lamberto Vitali, Morandi, Dipinti. Catalogo generale, Milan, 1994, vol. II, no. 856, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Morandi’s Natura morta of 1953 is a beautiful example of the artist’s investigation into the spatial relationships between everyday objects, in this instance including two white bottles set in front of several darker objects and placed against a neutral background. The juxtaposition of different colours and shapes and the spatial relationships formed between them give the composition its subtle yet dynamic quality, while the luminosity of the central two bottles resonates with the translucent grey backdrop. The deliberate play between what is known and what can only be guessed at goes to the heart of Morandi’s fascination with the visible world. Increasingly he became absorbed in creating permutations of the same objects and the same leitmotifs are repeated time and again. The delicate curvature of the bottles gives the composition a sense of grace and classical beauty, while at the same time providing a dynamic contrast with the straight-edged objects behind them.


Giorgio Morandi’s meticulously composed still-lifes dominated throughout his career. Like others of his generation, he looked at the Italian art of the early Renaissance with fresh eyes, simultaneously conscious of the legacy of tradition as well as the regional and rustic aspects of the Italian cultural heritage. Additionally vital was the legacy of Cézanne, whose intense focus on reality and individual way of seeing encouraged Morandi to discover the simple geometric solidity of everyday objects. This was to become his subject, although his style moved through several very distinct phases. The objects, invariably household items such as bottles, jars, pitchers and bowls, were laid out with the calculated precision of a classical composition, yet the way in which they are painted establishes their presence as self-contained forms in space.

Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale