Tag Archives Georgio Morandi

STILL LIVES

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The painter, Giorgio Morandi – who lived

most of his seventy four years at

39 Via Fondazza, Bologna,

in a second floor apartment with his three

sisters, in the medaeval soul and heart

of La Grassa, with its imposing towers,

its red tiles, narrow streets, and arcades –

specialised in Natura Morta, Still Life.

 

The apartment and the Renaissance building

it houses have become a museum,

preserving his studio, and his props:

glazed ceramic vases, bottles, bowls, jars,

pitchers, kitchen utensils, and table cloths,

which appeared many times re-arranged,

in ochres, browns, greys, with their shadows falling

variously on a neutral background –

through two world wars, Mussolini’s rise and fall,

and mass migration to the industrial

north from all parts of the Mezzogiorno.

 

I have come to acknowledge Morandi’s

almost compulsive, obsessive focus

on the same small number of objects

in different conjunctions, depicted

with the same limited, disciplined palette,

the same minimalist and easily

adaptable format, capturing how,

at any given moment, things might have seemed.

 

There are no self-portraits, or depictions

of his sisters, or his dog, Pluto.

There are posed photos of him – serious,

in horn rimmed glasses, jacket and tie,

and always about to light up a Muratti.

 

Since he preferred “tranquillità e pace”

what would he have made of Via Fondazza

now it has become a ‘Social Street’?

One of its residents, to “combat urban

loneliness”, set up a private Facebook page.

Neighbours can put a name to a face,

and greet each other confidently in

the Osteria Della Fondazza or

Morandi Frutta Di Masood Maryam.

 

Maybe one of his neighbours would ring the bell

at 39 to present him with

a favourite jug or carafe to be

immortalised. Perhaps the oldest sister

would go down to the building’s main entrance,

open one of the double doors, and say

something ambiguous, enigmatic,

emollient, thus leaving the supplicant

not without hope.

 

 

 

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