Artists in Italy: Giorgio Morandi

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1953. Oil on canvas, 8 x 15 7/8 in.(20.3 x 40.3 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Acquired 1954.

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1953. Oil on canvas, 8 x 15 7/8 in. (20.3 x 40.3 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Acquired 1954.

Read part one and part two in this series.

Lastly, the native Italian Giorgio Morandi,  born in Bologna in 1890, studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Bologna where he trained in the classical Italian and Flemish styles of painting. During his last years there, his style began to change, having been briefly influenced by futurism and other modern trends. The arrangements of objects seen in Still Life, 1953 (shown above) and Still Life, 1950 (shown below) reflect his mature style. His earthy and subdued palette corresponds in tone to the Prendergast piece, which draws a connection between the oldest and the newest work on display here, highlighting the continual influence Italy exerted on these artists who depicted its beauty.

 Drew Lash, Curatorial Intern

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1950. Oil on canvas, 14 1/8 x 18 5/8 in. (35.9 x 47.3 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Acquired 1957.

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1950. Oil on canvas, 14 1/8 x 18 5/8 in. (35.9 x 47.3 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Acquired 1957.

The Artist Sees Differently: Roberto Alcaraz

Roberto Alcaraz, Museum Assistant and Sunday Concerts Assistant

Roberto Alcaraz on a break with his guitar. Photo: Joshua Navarro

How did you learn about the Phillips?

A cousin of mine, who was living here at the time, first mentioned it to me soon after my arrival in D.C. However, it did not take long for me to realize its importance in the cultural life of the city.

Do you feel you are inspired by the Phillips art?

Yes. There is a wealth of great works that are really inspiring. Any collection that includes works by van Gogh, Klee, Morandi, Rothko, plus all the major impressionists, is bound to have works worth looking up to.

What do you listen to when you work on your photography?

Curiously, having a music background, I prefer not listening to music when I am in a darkroom doing prints. I try to focus on my task in hand with no distractions, if possible. Continue reading “The Artist Sees Differently: Roberto Alcaraz” »

Congenial Spirits: Italia

(left) Amadeo Modigliani, Elena Povolozky, 1917. Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 19 1/8 in. The Phillips Collection; (middle) Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1953. Oil on canvas, 8 x 15 7/8 in. The Phillips Collection; (right) Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1950. Oil on canvas, 14 1/8 x 18 5/8 in.The Phillips Collection. Photo: Amy Wike

This small gallery pays tribute to some of the Italian artists in the Phillips’s permanent collection. Modigliani, Morandi, and De Chirico greet elevator riders as the doors open on the second floor of the Phillips house. 2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy—Washington celebrates all summer with La Dolce DC.

Meryle Secrest, author of Modigliani: A Life, gives her perspective on the painter behind this portrait of Elena Povolozky (at left) next Thursday, May 19.