350
350

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Marino Marini
COMPOSIZIONE DI GIOCOLIERI (COMPOSITION WITH JUGGLERS)
JUMP TO LOT
350

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Marino Marini
COMPOSIZIONE DI GIOCOLIERI (COMPOSITION WITH JUGGLERS)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Marino Marini
1901 - 1980
COMPOSIZIONE DI GIOCOLIERI (COMPOSITION WITH JUGGLERS)
signed Marino and dated 1935 (lower left); signed Marino and dated 1956 on the reverse
oil on canvas
100 by 80cm., 39 1/2 by 31 1/2 in.
Painted in 1956.
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Provenance

Private Collection, Italy (probably acquired directly from the artist)
Thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art (& travelling in Japan), Marino Marini, 1978, no. 103, illustrated in the catalogue

Literature

Herbert Read, Patrick Waldberg & Gualtieri di San Lazzaro, Marino Marini, Complete Works, Milan, 1970, no. 232, illustrated p. 423
Erich Steingraber & Lorenzo Papi, Marino Marini Paintings, Johannesburg, 1989, no. 341, illustrated p. 176

Catalogue Note

Composizione di Giocolieri is a superb example of the horse and rider theme, an iconic subject within Marino Marini’s work. Whilst Marini may not have consciously adopted such a subject for its symbolic connotations, the horse and rider is a universally popular motif, being derived from a classical precedent which Marini would have seen in the form of Renaissance equestrian statuary. Marini’s art underwent a stylistic shift following the Second World War, moving away from realistic figuration towards more abstract and stylised forms. In Composizione di Giocolieri the mythical figures of the horse and rider are reinterpreted in this manner so that body masses are reverted to simplified geometric shapes and vibrant colour clashes are used to model form. Marini’s use of bold swathes of colour, in particular the dominant reds, imbues the composition with a sense of drama and energy. For Marini, colour was the driving force behind his creative production: ‘The urge to paint is innate within me, like an elemental, violent need to search for colour’ (quoted in Erich Steingraber & Lorenzo Papi, Marino Marini Paintings, Johannesburg, 1989, p. XLI).

Within the present work, the composition consists of three jugglers, one of whom sits atop a large horse, whose pyramidal form dominates the canvas, and two flanking figures. The rider sits at a right-angle to the back and outstretched neck of the horse, his arms expansively out-flung. Whilst the jugglers and horse are shown at a moment of rest, the bold colours serve to suggest imminent movement. Such a compositional façade evokes the subject of the circus: Marini was fascinated with the theme of theatre, finding inspiration for representing the ideal over reality. The present work was probably acquired directly from the artist by the first owner, a collector who supported and encouraged Marino Marini's work, among other 20th century artists, such a relationship tied a life-long friendship between the two men.

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