Casa Morandi, objects and art in the innermost folds of the soul
His whole life, painter and engraver Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964) created his works in a secluded room in a humble middle-class apartment in Bologna’s city center, “without fretting or worrying” – as his friend, writer and publisher Neri Pozza said – “about the postulants in the street, who hoped to buy his paintings second-hand, from foolhardy harlequins”.
From 1910 and until his death, Morandi lived and worked in a room that faced the inner courtyard of a building on Via Fondazza. In 2009, the apartment became his namesake house-museum and currently showcases photographs, books, ancient works of art and other interesting, evocative pieces that once belonged to the artist, including the bottles, seashells and vases he painted so many times.
Here is how writer Lea Quaretti, Neri Pozza’s partner, described the painter’s home in her diary in 1955:
“In Morandi’s house, the complete absence of the smallest speck of dust isolates furniture in a well-defined space and in a very particular silence. After all, that’s exactly what the bottles in Morandi’s paintings do, each one placed in a necessary space and in rigorous solitude: that’s why Morandi’s bottles have such a unique voice.”
“Morandi paints in the innermost room of the house. To get there you cross the entrance first and then the living room, where books are placed in meticulous order on a desk, in front of the window, and pencils and ink bottles always look like they’ve been tidied up right before guests arrived.”
“On the tables, on the floor, on shelves – anywhere your eyes rest, you’ll see collections of Morandi’s famous bottles. They’re all colors but most frequently blue, and have the most varied shapes. They are one against the other, but gathered in groups: they are the house’s secret corner, the one where nothing and no one should touch anything. Just like the innermost fold we all have in our thought and soul” (translated from L. Quaretti, “Il giorno con la buona stella: Diario 1945-1976”, Neri Pozza, Vicenza 2016).