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RE-COLLECTING. Morandi racconta

Museo Morandi
27 May - 22 May 2022

Morandi presents. The engraved sign: hatching and chiaroscuro

What is an etching? The Museo Morandi tries to answer this question through the third and last focus dedicated to this technique, of which Giorgio Morandi was a master. A master in the strictest sense, since from 1930 he became professor of Engraving Technique at the Academy of Fine Arts, but also in a broader sense, since his extraordinary technical ability and rigour cannot be ignored. In fact Morandi dedicated himself to graphic art, and in particular to etching, with the same commitment as he did to painting ("I paint and etch landscapes and still lifes", he himself declared in 1937), so much so that he became an extraordinary interpreter of it, one of the most significant on the European scene of his time. His mastery is comparable to that of the great engravers of the past, first and foremost Rembrandt, whom he studied assiduously and steadfastly.
This journey begins with a Cubist-Futurist still life, taken from his first and only etched plate in 1915 (V.inc.3), and ends with a copy of the last and only still life Morandi made in 1961 (V.inc.131). Seven of the fourteen etchings exhibited here became part of the patrimony of the Municipality of Bologna in 1961, when Morandi donated them, remaining anonymous, on the occasion of the reorganisation of the collections of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna then located at Villa delle Rose. Some sheets belonging to private collections complete the exhibition. These works were kindly loaned to the museum in more or less recent times, such as I Pioppi (The Poplars) and the Grande natura morta con la lampada a petrolio (Large Still Life with Oil Lamp) of 1930 (V.inc.76 and 75), and the aforementioned Still Life of 1961, which belonged to Luciano Pavarotti. In addition, there is the only known print of the plate that Morandi engraved using the ceramolle technique.