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Giorgio Morandi

/Works and biography

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Fragment (Frammento), 1914
Oil on canvas laid on canvas, 66 x 30 cm
Gianni Mattioli Collection
Long-term loan to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
© Giorgio Morandi, by SIAE 2008


This rare example of a figure in Giorgio Morandi’s work, painted late in 1914, is derived from Paul Cézanne paintings of Bathers, and specifically a painting then in Florence, that had been reproduced in a pamphlet on Cézanne published by the Libreria della Voce. The photographic origin of the image explains in part Morandi’s choice of monochrome, although browns and grays were standard in his palette in this period.
The nude holds up a piece of fabric while another is draped over her left shoulder. The effect of these arching forms around her is to trap her in an overall constructed space in which the distinction between figure and background is diminished. This shows how well Morandi understood Cézanne, and how his apprehension in 1914-15 of the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque favored precisely the period (1909) when the latter artists seemed most indebted to Cézanne.

credits: Hangar Design Group