Marino Marini’s M’s (1951-1978)

Marino Marini was a mid-20th-century sculptor and draughtsman who specialized in horses and their riders. Yet any good artist with a name like that - and his wife was Marina, too - would have plenty of M's in his work. And so he does. At left a drawing has his last name "Marini" written on what resembles a building with the legs of the horse in the corner forming an M. Surprisingly, no-one seems to question a horse with three legs.

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Captions for image(s) above:

Marini, Untitled (1955) Tempera and ink on paper. Private collection.

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All four of these horses and their riders also form M's though they were made over a 25-year period.

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Captions for image(s) above:

From top left, clockwise: 
Colored Game (1978) Pencil and tempera on card on canvas
Small Horse (1953) Tempera on paper
Rider and Horse (1959) Lithograph
Horse on a Green Ground (1957) Lithograph

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Even his figures are drawn M-shaped. Here there might even be a double M for Marino Marini because the dark creases around his groin appear somewhat artificial as though intentionally altered to form a second M below the principal one, partly veiled by his hand.

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Captions for image(s) above:

Marini, Portrait of Paolo (unknown date) Mixed media on card

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Sculpture is more difficult to form into letters but these relatively thin bronzes, the principal view of which is from the side, are shaped like M's again. Rarely is an artist's initial quite so obvious in his work as Marini's. Yet, as far as I know, they have never been noted in print. Marini, of course, was not alone.....

See conclusion below
 

Captions for image(s) above:

L: Marini, Thread-like Horse (1951) Bronze. 31cm high. Private Collection
R: Marini, Composition (1956) Bronze. 42.5cm high. Fondazione Marino Marini, Pistoia

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Dozens of examples by other M-inent artists who had done likewise before, most notably Manet, Matisse and MirĂ³, can be found on the Letters in Art page.  

 

Notes:

Original Publication Date on EPPH: 06 Aug 2015. © Simon Abrahams. Articles on this site are the copyright of Simon Abrahams. To use copyrighted material in print or other media for purposes beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. Websites may link to this page without permission (please do) but may not reproduce the material on their own site without crediting Simon Abrahams and EPPH.