Prints and Multiples / Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) Natura morta con il panneggio a sinistra Etching, 1927, on wove paper, the second, final state, signed, dated and numbered 32/40 in pencil, with wide margins, in good condition, framedPlate 246 x 350mm. (9 3/4 x 13 3/4in.); Sheet 330 x 435mm. (13 x 17 1/8in.)
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Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964)
Etching, 1927, on wove paper, the second, final state, signed, dated and numbered 32/40 in pencil, with wide margins, in good condition, framed
Plate 246 x 350mm. (9 3/4 x 13 3/4in.); Sheet 330 x 435mm. (13 x 17 1/8in.)
Private Collection, Italy (acquired circa 1960-1970)
Thence by descent from the above to the present owner
One of Morandi's finest etched works, Natura morta con il panneggio a sinistra, was produced in 1927 and reproduces the subject painted by the artist twice that same year (Vitali 1977, cat. 115-116).
Morandi generally worked directly from his subjects and etched everything on a plate at one time. So there are a few states of his prints. Only two states were made of this subject, with a limited edition of forty impressions and some artist's proofs. The present impression is part of the second state, in which Morandi added oblique signs on the bottom left of the neck of the central bottle.
His methodical use of the etched line to create shapes, volume and density of his marks, by hatching and cross-hatching alone without a descriptive outline, is clearly inspired by the great old master etchers Rembrandt and Goya, whom he profoundly admired.
Natura morta con il panneggio a sinistra is one of his most accomplished large compositions of his celebrated still-lifes etchings. The gradual intensity of the etched line shaded surfaces is contrasted with areas completely untouched by the needle, creating a highly atmospheric chiaroscuro effect which Morandi named bianco assoluto (absolute white).
Giorgio Morandi is considered the most outstanding Italian printmaker of the twentieth century. Unlike many other artists, his practice as a printmaker was not just a supplement to painting or an additional means of income. Etching had played a significant part of his artistic practice since the beginning of his career. He made his first etching in 1912, having taught himself the technique by reading a treatise of 1660 by another Bolognese artist Odoardo Fialetti.
Morandi made very few prints until the 1920s, and only a total of 138 in all. Eighty of his prints were made in the short period between 1927-1933 and only a small number after the Second World War.
Morandi held the Chair in Printmaking at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna from 1930 until 1956.