Flowers

Giorgio Morandi

Flores

Morandi, Giorgio

Bolonia, 1890 - 1964

Flowers, 1942

© Giorgio Morandi, VEGAP, Madrid, 2015

Signed & dated lower right: ''Morandi/ 1942''. Reverse side: artist´s fingerprint.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.

Oil on canvas

30,5 x 26 cm

CTB.1999.37

Artwork history

  • La Bussola Gallery, Turin

  • M. Azzi, Milan

  • Prato Gallery, Falsetti

  • F. Fabbi, Modena

  • Christie’s Auctions, London,  lot 658, July 1,  1999

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

1973 - 1974

Protagonisti del XX. Secolo, Turín, Galleria Gissi, n. 42

1978

Giorgio Morandi, Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti, n. 32

1984 - 1985

Giorgio Morandi, Madrid, Caja de Pensiones; Barcelona, Caixa de Pensiones, n. 33

1985

Giorgio Morandi, Marsella, Musée Cantini, n. 31

1987

Giorgio Morandi, París, Hôtel de Ville, n. 29

1988 - 1989

Morandi, Tampere, Sara Hildénin Taidemuseuo, n. 32

1989

Morandi, Leningrado, Museo Estatal del Ermitage; Moscú, Galerie des Künstlerverbandes; Londres, Accademia Italiana delle Arti, n. 29

1989

Morandi, Locarno, Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca, n. 31

1989 - 1990

Morandi, Tubinga, Kunsthalle; Nordrhein-Westfalen, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, n. 55

1990

Giorgio Morandi, Mostra del Centennario, Bolonia, Galleria Communale d´Arte Moderna, n. 74

1990 - 1991

Morandi, i Fiori, Siena, Magazzini del Sale di Palazzo Pubblico, n. 5

1992

Giorgio Morandi, París, Galerie Claude Bernard, n. 15

2000

Del post-impresionismo a las vanguardias. Pintura de comienzos del siglo XX en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, IVAM Centre Julio González, n. 39, p. 128

2001 - 2002

Forma. El ideal clásico en el arte moderno, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, n. 49, p. 205, lám. p. 141

  • -Vitali, L.: Morandi, catalogo generale. Milán, 1977, vol. 1, n. 352, lám.

  • -Llorens, Tomás: “El ideal clásico en el arte moderno”. Madrid 2001-2002. pp. 32-201, cit. p. 139, n. 49, lám. p. 141.

  • -Llorens, Tomàs: Forma: el ideal clásico en el arte moderno. [Exhib. Cat. 2001-2002]. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2001.

  • -Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 320, lám. p. 321 [ Sheet by Marilena Pasquali]

Expert report

This painting-created in the difficult autumn of 1942, hence the shadowy colours with their faint highlights-, forms part of a small series of works in which Morandi used a bunch of zinnias as his model, exploring their gradual withering.

We know that Morandi preferred to use silk flowers, made with great skill in 18th-century Bologna, and that after the war he no longer painted fresh flowers precisely because of their transient nature, swiftly subject to the ravages of time, in contrast to the subject of his composition in which he sought a “motionless mirror” in which to reflect his inner vision, the changes in his thoughts and feelings. The model must never change, precisely because it is the artist who changes constantly (and for the same reason, after 1927-1928, Morandi made no further portraits (not even of his beloved sisters), nor did he depict figures.

As in the prints of flowers made around 1930 (particularly those devoted to the subject of zinnias in a vase), 1 in the present canvas Morandi accepts the confrontation with the most fragile, ephemeral natural object, capturing it precisely at the point when it passes from full life to rapid, progressive decay.

Until a few years ago, the present work was in the same Italian collection as another painting of a similar subject. The two works were exhibited together in various exhibitions organised by the Museo Morandi, precisely in order to emphasise the artist’s interest in the expiration of time as seen in the transition from one canvas to the other. In this painting, the first of the two, the flowers are still fresh and the bunch fits snugly into the vase, creating a compact, firm composition. The image is frontal, almost in relief, imposing in its silent presence. In the second painting the vase disappears and the eye concentrates on the drooping stems and the fading corollas which are now more open, discomposed, undone.

In the Flowers now in the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, the tense, nervous brushstrokes move the petals as if their skin were caressed by a secret breeze wafting from the background, a decidedly Morandian background in the intensity of the vibration, and the way it imposes itself as a fragment of pure painting, offering itself as the interior domain inhabited by the appearance of the flowers.

Marilena Pasquali