Shenzhen Government Online
A close look at classic Morandi colors
From: Shenzhen Daily
Updated: 2023-02-21 11:02


A painting created by Giorgio Morandi in 1960.

People who are obsessed with Morandi colors should not miss an exhibition featuring 46 artworks created by Italian painter and printmaker Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) at the Dafen Art Museum.

Morandi’s paintings depict mostly daily objects, such as bottles, jars and boxes, with colors that appear restrained and soft, forming a comfortable unity. Through admiring 34 oil paintings, five prints, four watercolor paintings and three sketches, visitors can feel the beauty of static harmony at the exhibition.

Morandi’s major influence was the work of French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, whose emphasis on form and flat areas of color Morandi emulated throughout his career. The Morandi color system has had a profound impact on later generations, and it has manifested itself in various fields such as painting, fashion, handicrafts and furniture design.

Morandi first exhibited his works in 1914 in Bologna with the Futurist painters, and later he was associated with the Metaphysical school, a group who painted in a style developed by Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. Artists who worked in the Metaphysical painting style attempted to imbue everyday objects with a dreamlike atmosphere of mystery.

Morandi also depicted sunbaked landscapes. He developed an intimate approach to art that, directed by a highly refined formal sensibility, gave his quiet landscapes and disarmingly simple still-life compositions a delicacy of tone and extraordinary subtlety of design.

His gentle, lyrical colors are subdued and limited to clay-toned white, drab green and umber brown, with occasional highlights of terra-cotta. Morandi’s paintings of bottles and jars convey a mood of contemplative repose reminiscent of the work of Piero della Francesca, an Italian Renaissance artist whom he admired. As an instructor of etching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna from 1930 to 1956, Morandi had a profound influence on succeeding generations of Italian graphic artists.

Morandi’s paintings are often interpreted as a quiet rejection of the tumultuous modern world. “I am essentially a painter of the kind of still-life composition that communicates a sense of tranquility and privacy, moods that I have always valued above all else,” he once explained.

His works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Tate Gallery in London, and the Museo Morandi in Bologna, among others.

Dates: Until March 28

Hours: 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., closed Mondays

Tickets: 68 yuan (standard), 38 yuan (concession), 128 yuan for two persons, free for soldiers and children 1 meter in height or shorter

Venue: Dafen Art Museum, Longgang District (大芬美术馆)

Metro: Line 3 to Dafen Station (大芬站), Exit A1 (SD News)