Giorgio Morandi was born in Bologna in 1890. He shows a precocious artistic predisposition and in 1907 he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts. Until 1911 his school career was excellent, but the last two years were marked by conflicts with the teachers, due to the changing interests of Morandi that has already found his own autonomous language.
His artistic references are: Cézanne, Henry Rousseau, Picasso, André Derain. Parallel is the interest in the great Italian art of the past: in 1910 he went to Florence, where he can admire Giotto, Masaccio and Paolo Uccello. In 1914 Morandi began to exhibit: at the Hotel Baglioni in Bologna there was the famous exhibition with Osvaldo Licini, Mario Bacchelli, Giacomo Vespignani and Severo Pozzati. The war years were those of the metaphysics season: the works of this period reveal that the role of Morandi in the metaphysical movement is full of significance and autonomy.
In the twenties his works became more plastic: begins the era of the still life, the metaphysics of everyday objects. While not moving from Bologna, the artist is not excluded from the facts of the intellectual debate. Until 1956 Morandi doesn’t travel abroad, but he is very attentive to important international occasions. Equally significant is the progress of his school career: after having taught for many years in municipal schools of design, in February 1930 he gets the chair of engraving at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, where he taught until 1956. Important are his precence at the Venice Biennale and the Rome Quadriennale in 1930 and 1935. But the “case Morandi” exploded in 1939 because at the third edition of the Roman exhibition Morandi has an entire room dedicated and won the second prize for painting, behind the younger Bruno Saetti.
During the years of the second world war the artist retires in Grizzana. Here starts the so-called “great season” (Francesco Arcangeli). In 1948 at the Venice Biennale Morandi receives the first prize. Now he is considered as one of the masters of the century. He died in Bologna in 1964.