Marino Marini, Pistoia 1901 - 1980 Viareggio
ProvenanceGalerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Düsseldorf,
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in April 1963.
Christie's, New York, 4th November 2004, lot 331),
Purchased at the above sale by the previous owner (sold: Sotheby’s, London, 15th October 2010, lot 3).
ExhibitionsKassel, II. Documenta: Kunst nach 1945, 1959, no. 5, illustrated in the catalogue
Eduard Trier, Marino Marini, Cologne, 1954, no.
19, illustration of another cast
Helmut Lederer & Eduard Trier, Marino Marini, Stuttgart, 1961, no. 79, illustration of another cast
Giovanni Carandente, Marino Marini, Milan, 1966, illustration of another cast pl. X
Patrick Waldberg, Herbert Read & Gualtieri di San Lazzaro, Marino Marini, Complete Works, New York, 1970, no. 289, illustration of another cast p. 366
Carlo Pirovano, Marino Marini, Scultore, Milan, 1972, no. 300, illustrations of another cast pp. 110 & 164
Marino Marini, London, 1980, no. 142, illustration of another cast
Lorenzo Papi, Marino Marini - Impressioni di Lorenzo Papi, Ivrea, 1987, illustration of another cast
Carlo Pirovano (ed.), Marino Marini. Catalogo del Museo San Pancrazio di Florence, Milan, 1988, illustration of another cast pl. 140
Giovanni Iovane, Marino Marini, Milan, 1990, p. 91
Marco Meneguzzo, Marino Marini. Cavalli e cavalieri, Milan, 1997, no. 69, pp. 134-137
Fondazione Marino Marini (ed.), Marino Marini. Catalogue Raisonné of the Sculptures, Milan, 1998, no. 368b, illustration of another cast p. 257
During the 1940s Marini gained increased international notoriety and in 1944 he was included in the seminal exhibition Twentieth-Century Italian Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1951 his exhibition travelled from the Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover to the Kunstverein in Hamburg and the Haus der Kunst of Munich. He was awarded the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1952 and the Feltrinelli Prize at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome in 1954.
Marini’s works can be found in a number of the world’s leading museums, including the Tate Gallery, London, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Venice, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington and the Metropolitan Museum, New York. There is also a museum dedicated to his work in Florence.
Marini is most celebrated for his series of Cavalli (horses) and was originally inspired to adopt the equestrian theme after seeing models of medieval knights on horseback in Germany. The sculptor argued that ‘the entire history of humanity and nature can be found in the figure of the horse and rider’ and that he used the subject as his ‘own way of narrating history.’
These Cavalli, which obsessed the artist throughout his career, developed significantly after World War II. The conflict had a profound effect on Marini and the smooth fleshy surfaces, which typified his work of the 1930s and early 1940s, gave way to sharper, angled and scarred forms.
Marini believed that all serenity and beauty had been lost during the war years, where he had witnessed terrified Italian peasants on rearing horses as they tried to escape periods of enemy bombardment. Many years later, in 1972, he argued that ‘the world itself is all expressionist: a restless world, open to anxiety…. A Beautiful thing, such as a sculpture by Canova, has been transformed into a terrifying and dramatic form’.
The present sculpture, entitled Cavallo, was conceived in 1952 and is a quintessential example of Marini’s post-war sculpture. The horse’s head reaches backward with a very content expression and his front legs are bent nearly to the ground as to allow his horseman to climb on him. The bronze itself has also been heavily worked by the artist, resulting in an incredible patina.
The artwork described above is subject to changes in availability and price without prior notice.
Where applicable ARR will be added.