Giorgio Morandi is the painter of Bologna.
But he didn't paint the butchers of Quadrilatero market, the colours of the porticoes or the characters of the shops.
He prefers daily objects like bottles, funnels, cactus you could find in all the houses.
From his house in Via Fondazza to his beloved Grizzana, his traces are still here.
Giorgio Morandi: a life with the easel
Giorgio Morandi looked like everything but the artist with a hat and a tormented soul.
Heavy smoker, tall and with huge feet, he used to dress in elegant long coats and didn't like people who called him "master".
Morandi was born in Bologna in 1890.
He studied at the Accademia of Belli Arti, where years later he became an engraving professor.
He loved Cézanne, Rembrandt, Henri Rousseau, as well as Giotto, Masaccio and Paolo Uccello.
Simple daily objects like bottles, vases, boxes.
That's where he focused his attention.
The garden he could see from his house in Via Fondazza 36.
And the hills and gullies of Grizzana, on the Apennine mountains, where he used to spend his summers.
Via Fondazza 36: in the house of the master
Via Fondazza, 1945.
A street full of prostitutes, workshops, old men playing card games with an orphanage and a military barracks.
A lot has changed since that time, but at number 36, a massive wood door still hides the house where Morandi spent most of his life.
Great photographers like Luigi Ghirri and Gianni Berengo Gardin captured its atmosphere in the past.
Now the house is a museum but you can still imagine Morandi smoking near the window, looking at the olive tree in the courtyard.
Grizzana Morandi: 70 shades of green
Just over that bend there's the most beautiful landscape in the world
That's how Morandi describes Grizzana, the small village on the hills of Bologna where he spent part of his life.
Morandi had 3 sisters: Anna, Dina, Maria Teresa.
In 1913 Anna got sick, and her doctor suggested spending some time far from Bologna, in a place with fresh air.
Veggetti family, Morandi's neighbours, invited them to spend that summer in their house in Grizzana. Anna felt better and Giorgio fell in love with this landscape.
Through the window, he could see (and paint) the woods and Campiaro's barn.
So in the 1950s, Morandi decided to build its own house in Grizzana. A simple and essential house, like his paintings.
Everything inside is left as it was in 1994, the year of the death of his youngest sister.
His coats in the closet.
The cigarettes in the drawer, with his cut tip brushes.
The books of Giotto and Masaccio on the shelves.
The grey FIAT 850 car in the garage.
Morandi said the only in Grizzana he could see 70 shades of green.
And you can tell by entering his studio.
The only room in the house with 3 windows is an explosion of lights and colours.
His paintings are there, outside of the windows.
Museo Morandi at MamBo: a palette full of colors
To see Morandi's works you have to go to the MAMbo Museum, one of the museums to visit in Bologna.
You can see a collection of more than 200 paintings donated by Morandi's family. And some original objects from his studio like an unexpectedly colourful palette.
Among them, you won't find any painting of the Asinelli tower.
Even if he used to say that:
I have to paint it sooner or later. It looks like leaning on a table
In the near future, Museo Morandi should move to a new location (Palazzina Magnani).
Via Fondazza 36, 40125 Bologna BO
Tel. +39 051 300150
Casa Museo Giorgio Morandi
SP24, 115, 40030 Grizzana Morandi BO
Tel. +39 051 6730311
Bookings: [email protected]
MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna
Via Don Giovanni Minzoni, 14, 40121 Bologna BO
Tel. +39 051 6496611
La città di Morandi, Renzo Renzi, Cappelli Editore 1989