Italian painter Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) was a poet of the ordinary. Best known for his still lifes, Morandi arranged simple objects--he tended to favor bottles, vases and bowls, earning him the patronizing description "the Italian painter of bottles"--in seemingly simple compositions in modestly scaled paintings. Bathed in flickering light and muted, earthy color, Morandi's subtle and contemplative paintings are disarmingly absorbing, imbued with deep feeling and a reassuring solidity. Small and sublime at the same time, his paintings are generous to attentive viewers, and have drawn rapturous praise from artists and critics alike.
Morandi devoted his career to the pursuit of what he called "the essence of things." "Even in as simple a subject" as a still life, Morandi explained, "a great painter can achieve a majesty of vision and an intensity of feeling to which we immediately respond." He pursued this goal over the course of about 50 years, in the execution of some 1,350 oil paintings and 133 etchings.
Featuring a selection of Morandi's oil and watercolor paintings, drawings and etchings, this publication ranges from Morandi's renowned still lifes to his elegant flower vases and lonely landscapes. The book presents the whole of the artist's silent yet profound innovation, halfway between reality and abstraction, and reveals why Morandi has remained a constant source of inspiration for generations of artists.