Giorgio Morandi
Italian painter



We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.


Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.


If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Giorgio Morandi
Italian painter

Works by Giorgio Morandi

Sr. Editor

The master of containers.  Painted pretty much only bottles and vases for over 50 years.  Serving in the army gave him a nervous breakdown and after that became kind of a recluse in his apartment full of stuff.  I’m not saying he was a hoarder…but if the cap fits...

Fellini put one of his paintings in La Dolce Vita, and Barack Obama added two to the White House collection.  Go George!


Featured Content

Here is what Trivium says about Giorgio Morandi

"I believe that nothing can be more abstract, more unreal, than what we actually see. We know that... the objective world... never really exists as we see and understand it... has no intrinsic meaning of its own, such as the meanings that we attach to it." - Giorgio Morandi

Morandi is one of the most recognizable and enigmatic artists of the 20th century. He won international recognition during his lifetime while maintaining a secluded life with his three sisters in Bologna.

As a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, he took a particular interest in French Impressionists and painters such as Paul CézanneGeorges SeuratHenri Rousseau and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and early Italian artists such as Giotto, Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, and Piero della Francesca. Although he rarely traveled, Morandi was well aware of contemporary avant-garde trends such as futurism and pittura metafisica. Drawing on these influences, in 1920 Morandi began developing his individual style, which he would continue to refine throughout his career.

Morandi worked obsessively on two key themes: the landscapes of his environs (the Apennines around Bologna and the Cortile di Via Fondazza) and still lives of vases, shells, and flowers. In these, he painted the same objects again and again in similar settings, but with minimal variations in composition, viewpoint, and color. He was also a master of the use of different techniques: a subject painted in oil on canvas creates a different atmosphere when it is depicted in a drawing, an engraving, or a watercolor. For him, each technique was of equal value and he made full use of them all to experiment with.

Morandi's artistic development can be seen as one of consistent development, without major changes of style. His whole oeuvre is a constant search for the essence and purity of forms: his later works come close to abstraction.

Learn more about Giorgio Morandi and other artists at Trivium Art History

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Giorgio Morandi

Giorgio Morandi (July 20, 1890 – June 18, 1964) was an Italian painter and printmaker who specialized in still life. His paintings are noted for their tonal subtlety in depicting apparently simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers and landscapes.


Giorgio Morandi was born in Bologna to Andrea Morandi and Maria Maccaferri. He lived first on Via Lame where his brother Giuseppe (who died in 1903) and his sister Anna were born. The family then moved to via Avesella where his two other sisters were born, Dina in 1900 and Maria Teresa in 1906. From 1907 to 1913 he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna [Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna]. After the death of his father in 1909, the family moved to Via Fondazza and Morandi became the head of the family.

At the Accademia, which based its traditions on 14th-century painting, Morandi taught himself to etch by studying books on Rembrandt. He was excellent at his studies, although his professors disapproved of the changes in his style during his final two years at the Accademia. Even though he lived his whole life in Bologna, Morandi was influenced by the works of Cézanne, Derain, and Picasso. In 1910 he visited Florence, where the works of artists such as Giotto, Masaccio, Piero Della Francesca, and Paolo Uccello made a profound impression on him. He had a brief digression into a Futurist style in 1914. In that same year, Morandi was appointed instructor of drawing for elementary schools in Bologna—a post he held until 1929.

In 1915, he joined the army but suffered a breakdown and was indefinitely discharged. During the war, Morandi's still lifes became more reduced in their compositional elements and purer in form, revealing his admiration for both Cézanne and the Douanier Rousseau.

The Metaphysical painting (Pittura Metafisica) phase in Morandi's work lasted from 1918 to 1922. This was to be his last major stylistic shift; thereafter, he focused increasingly on subtle gradations of hue, tone, and objects arranged in a unifying atmospheric haze, establishing the direction his art was to take for the rest of his life. Morandi showed in the Novecento Italiano exhibitions of 1926 and 1929, but was more specifically associated with the regional Strapaese group by the end of the decade, a fascist-influenced group emphasizing local cultural traditions. He was sympathetic to the Fascist party in the 1920s, although his friendships with anti-Fascist figures led authorities to arrest him briefly in 1943. From 1928 Morandi participated in some of the Venice Biennale exhibitions, in the Quadriennale in Rome and also exhibited in different Italian and foreign cities.

In 1929 Giorgio Morandi illustrated the work Il sole a picco by Vincenzo Cardarelli, winner of the Premio Bagutta. From 1930 to 1956, Morandi was a professor of etching at Accademia di Belle Arti. The 1948 Venice Biennale awarded him first prize for painting. He visited Paris for the first time in 1956, and in 1957 he won the grand prize in São Paulo's Biennial.

Quiet and polite, both in his private and public life, Morandi was much talked about in Bologna for his enigmatic yet very optimistic personality. Morandi lived on Via Fondazza, in Bologna, with his three sisters Anna, Dina and Maria Teresa. Morandi died of lung cancer on June 18, 1964.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Giorgio Morandi.