Arturo Martini





He attended the School of Ceramics in Faenza, and later studied sculpture in Treviso; in 1909, in Munich, he was a pupil of A. Hildebrand; in 1911 he was in Paris. In Rome, after the First World War, he was part of the group of Plastic Values; he taught for many years in the School of Artistic Industries in Monza. His work, very vast, is characterized by a secure and immediate plasticity, by an extreme happiness of invention, by a complete mastery of all technical processes: stone, bronze, terracotta, ceramic, etc.. From his first works, of a stylized primitivism (Orfeo, 1924, Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art), he went on a search for simplification of the volumes (Il bevitore, 1926), which was then articulated in tight structures of great plastic intensity (Pisana, 1928-29, Treviso, Museo Civico; Donna al sole, 1930, Firenze, collezione Papi; La Lupa, 1930, Vado Ligure, casa Martini, ecc.). With an admirable sense of style, he was able to draw inspiration from the most diverse historical, archaic, Etruscan, Romanesque and Baroque forms, without ever losing the originality of the invention and the vitality of the form. He also made large decorations for the courthouse in Milan and monumental architectural complexes. In the later period he concentrated his formal research, arriving at works of rare intensity such as the Vacca (1945, Venice, Toso collection) and the Girl who swims underwater (1941, Milan, Lucchetti collection). In the last years of his life he abandoned almost all sculpture (which he judged "dead language") to devote himself, but with not always happy results, to painting. He was an excellent designer; very remarkable are also his small groups of ceramics, full of narrative spirit and, at the same time, of decorative value.