Famous for his sculpture, Italian Marino Marini was also a talented painter and graphic artist. He began studying art in his teens, and was trained as a sculptor at the Academia di Belle Arti. Even at this early stage, he experimented with different methods, materials and subject matter.
Later, while studying in Paris, he became associated with Picasso, Henry Moore and other renowned modern artists. He was heavily involved with sculpture during this period, and when he returned to Italy, he began teaching outside Milan.
World War II impacted Marini greatly; he became keenly aware of the suffering he witnessed in Italy and allowed his art to express his new humanist outlook.
His work deals almost exclusively with three themes: the female figure, the horse and rider, and jugglers and dancers. Each subject matter had symbolism, both personal and universal. The female figure was symbolic of fertility; the horse and rider symbolized man’s attempt to control instinct. Marini’s jugglers and dancers show his innate optimism and capture movement and vibrancy.
Though Marini died in 1980, his legacy continues in the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, which houses 200 of his pieces.