Marino Marini: horses, horsemen, and the history of humankind

Marino Marini,

"Horse", 1953

Horses and horsemen were the most popular subjects of sculptures and paintings by Marino Marini (1901-1980). From the second half of the 1930s, they dotted the artistic activity of this great artist from Pistoia, changing shapes and colors over time.

Marini believed they contained “the whole history of humanity and nature […], in every era”. Equestrian images were his medium to talk about history, the characters he needed to “give human passion a form”, to express the drama and tragedy of man’s condition in time, and his less and less harmonious relationship with nature.

In each composition we sense the steeds’ restlessness grow: “It was a serene idea at birth”, he commented himself; “but then it grew over the years to become incredibly unruly.”

Let’s trace the history of humankind, according to Marini, in a selection of his paintings, serigraphs, lithographs, and etchings.

January 2, 2015