Marini, Marino (Pistoia, 1901 – Viareggio, Liguria, 1980).
    From 1917 he went to the fine arts academy in Florence where he studied painting and etching, and from 1922 he followed Domenico Trentacoste’s sculpture course. From a very early age he was interested in the avant-gardes, above all the dynamism of Boccioni, the luminous effects of Post-impressionism, the space-time experiments of Medardo Rosso, as well as in the expressive possibilities of ancient, archaic, and medieval sculpture; the latter was at the heart of his figurative culture, formed by looking at the Romanesque and Gothic monuments in Pistoia.
    His preference for archaic and terse forms, as well as his interest in Masaccio and Piero della Francesca, was in fact to be seen in his paintings from the 1920s and 1930s (Vergini, 1920; Ritratto di Gisella, 1923; Ragazza con fiore, 1926; Ragazza di Algeri, 1927; Giocoliere and Un'immagine, 1928). In 1926 he settled in Florence and joined the Novecento group, together with which he took part, in 1928, in a show at the Galleria Milano. He still associated himself with the milieu of artists from Pistoia and, together with them he exhibited at the Mostra Provinciale d’Arte in Pistoia in 1928; among his paintings were portraits of Costetti and the duchess Caracciolo. At the 1927 Espozione d’Arti Decorative in Monza he met Arturo Martini who, in 1929, asked him to take over his position as professor of sculpture at the Monza art school, where Marini was to have a studio and where he taught until 1940: in fact, from 1930 to 1948 his sculpture was his main interest and drawings were only used as a backing for studying and planning works of sculpture. In 1929 he took part in the second Mostra Regionale d’Arte in Florence and in the second Novecento Italiano show in Milan. During a trip to Paris he met De Pisis, Picasso, Maillol, Lipchitz, Braque and Laurens. He drew on this experience for enriching his colour, and he was also influenced by Cézanne (Parigi, 1929-1930; Paesaggio Bretone, 1930).
    In 1932 he held his first solo show at the Galleria Milano. Together with his teaching, in the 1930s he undertook many journeys to France, the Netherlands, Germany – where he was much taken by the equestrian sculptures in the cathedrals of Frankfurt, Nuremberg, and Bamberg – Great Britain, Belgium, Austria, as well as many visits to Paris, where he met Tanguy, de Chirico, Kandinsky, and Campigli. He took part in the Venice Biennale, the Milan Triennial shows, and the Rome Quadriennale where, in 1931, he was highly successful and where he won the first prize for sculpture in 1935. In this period, furthermore, he defined certain themes that were to be typical of his sculpture: horsemen, equestrian gentlemen, pilgrims, and pomona.
    In 1940 he began to teach in national academies, first in Turin and then in Milan, from where he was to flee in 1942 after his house and studio were bombed, with the loss of almost all of his early works. He then moved to Switzerland and stayed with the family of his wife, Mercedes Pedrazzini, known as Marina; here he came to know Giacometti, Wotruba, Banninger, Hubacher, Haller, and Richier, and he began to sculpt again and to exhibit. He returned to Milan and to his teaching at Brera in 1946, the year in which he developed the subject of heroic horsemen and began his series of dancers. At the 1948 Venice Biennale he met Henry Moore, whom he was to remain friends with and who was to visit him many times during his summer holidays in Forte dei Marmi. In the same year he came to know the German-American dealer Curt Valentin who, in 1950, organised his first show in New York.
    In America he met Beckmann, Arp, Feininger, Calder, Dalì, and Stravinsky, whose portrait he painted. In 1952 he was awarded first prize for sculpture by the Venice Biennale. In 1954, on the death of Valentin, Pierre Matisse became his new dealer. In this decade he broke the static balance of his figures and the heroic subject of horsemen evolved into the tragic compositions of Miracolo, Guerriero, and Grido, and then, in the 1960s, into the Forme.
    After 1948 he had begun to paint again and created large-scale works: after a period searching for a synthesis of sculptural form and colour, the process was decided in favour of the latter, treated in a violent, mosaic-like manner; he also established a solid and architectural structure for his figures, producing nudes, jugglers, and horsemen. Among the many shows in which he took part in this period, mention should be made of those in Zurich (1962), Rome (1966), and Japan (1978). His works are to be found in museums throughout the world; special collections are to be found in the Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Milan, (since 1973), the Centro di Documentazione Marino Marini in Pistoia (since 1979), and in the Marini Museum in Florence (since 1988) which also conserves his early paintings.

    Lia Bernini in La pittura in Italia. Il Novecento (1900-1945), Milan, 1997.