Italian sculptor, painter, and graphic artist, who belonged to no artistic movements or groups but is recognized as an outstanding creative sculptor.
Marini was born in Pistoia. He studied painting and sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence but before 1930 limited his output mainly to painting and graphic art. From 1929 he travelled widely and taught in Monza until 1940, when he became professor of sculpture at the Brera Academy in Milan.
When he returned to sculpture in 1930 Marini produced single human figures of great vigour and intensity, usually either female figures or entertainers (such as jugglers or acrobats) in bronze. But in 1935 he discovered the theme that was to dominate his mature work: that of the horse and rider. Frequently showing the influence of archaic sculpture, these usually motionless figures have a powerful inner vitality and seem to bear an obscure tragic symbolism. These are the works for which he is best known, but he also did a large number of graphic works and portraits in bronze, of which the best is perhaps that of Igor Stravinsky (1951).
Marini took up painting again in 1948 while living in Switzerland. Many of these later pictures approach abstraction as did some of his sculptures, for example Monumental Rider (1958), which became more dramatic and distorted, with rougher surfaces. He obtained numerous prizes during this period, including one at the Venice Biennale in 1952.
Subjects: Art — Contemporary History (Post 1945).