Still Life 1955

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Still Life 1955, Giorgio Morandi, 1955
BY MELISA CAPAN

Simple subjects caught the eye of Morandi as the majority of his subject matter includes bowls, vases, flowers, landscapes and bowls. Born in Bologna, Italy, Morandi never really travelled very far. The influences of his heritage greatly influenced him. As a soft-spoken recluse, many called him 'il monaco,' meaning the monk. His fame went from provincial, to national rather quickly due to his immense talent. Surely his vast amount of works included what seems to be the same vases and bowls and to that thought you would be indefinitely correct. Morandi would take jars, bottles and vases and remove all labels in which he would then have an unlimited amount of easily accessible subjects that he could arrange and rearrange. His drive for purity and perfection landed him as the master of natura morta of the 20th century.

Still Life 1955 exists as one of the hundreds of stills lifes completed in Morandi's lifetime. The use flat colors and neutral earth tones reoccur endlessly. Like many other pieces, this painting alludes to the ever so present Italian heritage embedded in mind. Morandi draws from the breathtaking Medieval architecture present in not just all of Italy, but particularly in his hometown, Bologna. Similarly to 18th century still life master, Chardin, Morandi looks at all subject matter with fresh eyes. His repetition and focus on the same objects is allowed due to this prospective. "I am essentially a painter of the kind of still life composition that communicates a sense of tranquility and privacy, moods which I have always valued above all else." This calm mood continues throughout all his works as his patience and perfectionism lands him at the top tier of natura morta.

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