Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Marino Marini

 (1901 - 1980)
Marino Marini was active/lived in Italy, Switzerland.  Marino Marini is known for abstract equestrian sculpture, painting and drawing.

Marino Marini

    mah-REE-nee  speaker-click to hear pronunciation  click to hear

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Marino Marini
Marino Marini (February 27, 1901 — August 6, 1980) was an Italian sculptor.

Born in Pistoia, Marini is particularly famous for his series of stylised equestrian statues, which feature a man with outstretched arms on a horse.  Probably the most famous example is The Angel of the City at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.

He attended the Accademia Di Belle Arti in Florence in 1917.  Although he never abandoned painting, Marini devoted himself primarily to sculpture from about 1922.  From this time his work was influenced by Etruscan art and the sculpture of Arturo Martini.  Marini succeeded Martini as professor at the Scuola d'Arte di Villa Reale in Monza, near Milan, in 1929, a position he retained until 1940. 

During this period Marini traveled frequently to Paris, where he associated with Massimo Campigli, Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Magnelli, and Filippo Tibertelli de Pisis.  In 1936 he moved to Tenero-Locarno, in Ticino Canton, Switzerland; during the following few years the artist often visited Zürich and Basel, where he became a friend of Alberto Giacometti, Germaine Richier and Fritz Wotruba.  In 1936 he received the Prize of the Quadriennale of Rome.  He accepted a professorship in sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, in 1940.

In 1946 the artist settled permanently in Milan. He participated in Twentieth-Century Italian Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1944. Curt Valentin began exhibiting Marini's work at his Buchholz Gallery in New York in 1950, on which occasion the sculptor visited the city and met Jean Arp, Max Beckmann, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, and Jacques Lipchitz.  On his return to Europe, he stopped in London, where the Hanover Gallery had organized a solo show of his work, and there met Henry Moore.  In 1951 a Marini exhibition traveled from the Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover to the Kunstverein in Hamburg and the Haus der Kunst of Munich.  He was awarded the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1952 and the Feltrinelli Prize at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome in 1954.  One of his monumental sculptures was installed in the Hague in 1959.

Retrospectives of Marini's work took place at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1962 and at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome in 1966.  His paintings were exhibited for the first time at Toninelli Arte Moderna in Milan in 1963-64.  In 1973 a permanent installation of his work opened at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan, and in 1978 a Marini show was presented at the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.

Marini died in Viareggio. There is a museum dedicated to his work in Florence (in the former church of San Pancrazio); his work may also be found in museums in Italy and around the world, such as the Civica Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Marini's work is authenticated by the experts at the Marino Marini Foundation in Pistoia, Italy.


Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Marino Marini
The Italian sculptor, painter and graphic artist Marino Marini enrolled at the 'Accademia di Belli Arti' in Florence in 1917.  While he was still an art student, Mediterranean antiquity, international Gothic style and medieval Rennaissance had a formative influence on him.

From 1928 the artist made several lengthy visits to Paris.  In 1929 Arturo Martini appointed him to the "Villa Reale" art school in Monza near Milan, where Marino Marini taught sculpture for 11 years.  The very same year, the artist presented his first major terracotta sculpture Popolo.

Early milestones in Marini's road to public acclaim were a large solo exhibition in Milan in 1932, his participation at the Venice Biennale, the Milan Triennale and the Quadriennale in Rome, where he received the first prize for sculpture in 1935,

In his figurative sculptures, Marini strove for archaising simplicity of form which tended to be abstract.  In 1941 Marino Marini was appointed to the chair of sculpture at the "Accademia di Brera" in Milan.  Two years later, he made the acquaintance of some important representatives of contemporary sculpture in Ticino.

Alberto Giacometti, Fritz Wotruba and Germaine Richier encouraged him in his artistic ambitions and inspired his work.  Returning from Switzerland, Marino Marini settled in Milan in 1947, where he resumed his teaching career at the Accademia.  Angelo della Città, one of Marini's major works, soon followed.  The American art dealer Curt Valentin gave Marini the opportunity to show his work in a large solo exhibition in New York and a series of other exhibitions, which brought him international acclaim.

In 1952 Marino Marini received the prestigious first prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, two years later, the grand prize of the "Accademia dei Lincei" in Rome followed.

These awards lead to many exhibitions in various European cities and two large retrospectives at the Zurich "Kunsthaus" in 1962 and the "Palazzo Venezia" in Rome in 1966.

In 1968 the artist was honored with yet another distinction: He became a member of the "Order Pour le mérite" for services to science and art.  In 1973 a Marini Museum was inaugurated in Florence, while the artist was dedicated the "Centro di Documentatione dell'Opera di Marino Marini" in the Pistoia town hall, which documented the artist's life and work.

Marino Marini died on August 6, 1980 in Viareggio.

Art Directory,

Biography from Leslie Sacks Fine Art
Born in 1901 in Pistoia, Marino Marini was trained as a painter in the great Renaissance art center of Florence at the Academia di Belle Arti. Marino Marini drew small subjects from life, such as flowers, birds and insects, and he also sculpted. Marino Marini worked intensively, experimenting with different materials, from terracotta to wood and plaster combined with paint, which Marino Marini also sometimes used with bronze in order to accentuate forms and express movement.

In 1928 Marino Marini traveled to Paris where he made his début as a sculptor, studied with Picasso and other leading modern artists. Marino Marini also was a close associate of Henry Moore. Marino Marini later returned to Italy, settling in Milan and teaching in nearby Monza. During this period Marino Marini exhibited at La Mostra del Novecento Toscano at the Galleria Milano in Milan.

Marino Marini was strongly influenced by the suffering he witnessed in Italy during the war. In 1950, at about the time he was gaining worldwide prominence, Marino Marini described his work, as part of a "new renaissance of sculpture in Italy, the new humanist, the new reality."

Marino Marini's work has an elemental simplicity and has almost been limited, apart from his few portrait heads, to three themes: the female figure, the rider and horse and dancers and jugglers. All of these themes are symbolic, imbued with meaning and significance drawn from his own mythology. His typical female figure, the Pomona, Roman goddess of fruit trees and hence a symbol of fertility, is archetypal of the Mother Goddess. The rider and horse is a symbol equally universal and is often interpreted as man riding and controlling his instincts, the horse being the symbol of the animal component in man, often specifically, the erotic instincts. The third corner of Marini's personal mythical thematic triangle, the dancers and jugglers, are an extension of the overall optimism, which breaks through in his sometimes-cloudy vision. They display vibrancy, an attempt to escape from the restraints and impositions of weight and space.

Marino Marini gained international renown in the 1950s with three major exhibitions of his work in Amsterdam, Brussels, and New York where his "Great Horse" is displayed in the Rockefeller Collection. His best-known work is the large bronze horse and rider commissioned for the Guggenheim Museum in Venice, Italy. Marino Marini's working life covered more than 60 years of prodigious and prolific activity. Marino Marini has had exhibitions in almost every major city in the world and prizes, medals and awards were constantly accorded him. Though Marino Marini died in 1980, his works - sculpture, painting and graphics - live on, a continuing testament to a "Master" artist.

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday
Biography photo for Marino Marini
Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Marino Marini. Photo by Yousuf Karsh (1970). Collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

About  Marino Marini

Born:  1901 - Pistoia, Italy
Died:   1980 - Viareggio, Italy
Known for:  abstract equestrian sculpture, painting and drawing