Following the signs in Pistoia
There I was one day, strolling the streets of Pistoia like a typical tourist with my camera in one hand and my IPhone in the other. And there it was, the Museo Marino Marini. What should do? Go inside?
Since I am naturally curious, I knew I just had to give it a whirl and discover what was behind those doors.
My first question: who is Marino Marini?
He is a Tuscan artist born right here in Pistoia. His style is strongly tied to the tradition of his land. It is also heavily influences by his deep fascination with the Etruscans, and the spirit and joy of the people. But Marino was also a bit like me, he loved to travel, discovering new worlds, adventuring in far away lands and he enjoyed letting himself be transport with emotion.
This is how his artwork evolved, meeting with new ideas and new inspiration.
His subject matter?
A few select objects caught his eye hoever, his essage was clear: it wasn’t always important what he depicted in his work, but rather how it was depicted - this was his message to the world.
- The pomone [Pomona: the Etruscan goddess of fertility]: Why? Because he strongly felt his Etruscan roots. The past of his homeland was enclosed in a vortex of art and tradition.
- Horses and their riders or knights: in every epoch horses and knights have made history. They symbolize characters that help this artist and give form to man’s passion.
- The world of the circus and the theater: acrobats were symbols for metaphors for life and the balance between good and evil.
- Portraits: represent humanity. Men were seen as the via for poetry. This is in itself is a poetic definition. Marino didn’t stop at appearances but delved into the depths of what surrounded him. In this portrait work, he never left anything to chance but felt that in each one of us there was a mystery to be discovered and exposed for all to see.
Thus when I entered into this museum, I felt as it I had been dropped into the life of this artist and I found myself learning much more about his style and ideals.
What to expect?
The Museo Marino Marini of Pistoia hosts both the Centro di Documentazione and the Fondazione. In the Center you can find literature, catalogs and books about art, highlighting the artist. La Fondazione, on the other hand, has the mission to divulge the voice and thoughts of the author.
This is the place to lose yourself among the large Bronze statues in the Chiesa [consecrated] del Tau, you will be speechless as you admire the sculptures of Marino in the entrance of the museum. You will find The Miracle, the Rider, the Great Scream, the Composition of elements, and A Form in an Idea5, together with seven other small sculptures, dating from the early 50's to the mid 60's.
The monumental sculptures have been installed on specially made bases designed to set them off at their best, while bearing in mind the limits of the space and the light.
It is easy to pass an entire afternoon in this beautiful and characteristic cloister, which is topped with an inverted pyramid to allow the natural light to flow. This is a beautiful place where you can listen to theater shows or concerts.
You will then move to the rooms in the Convent that house important masterpieces from Marino Marini’s artistic career and it is here that you can see the elements I mentioned earlier: the pomone, the horses & knights, the world of the circus and theater and portraits.
But it's not finished here. In fact, there is another section that I discovered, the gipsoteca, where I discovered numerous gessi. Search out the 100 plaster casts that represent all the themes covered by Marino, these pieces are actually finished pieces of art, and not just as a step into making a bronze statue [cit].
Even if the museum ends here, Pistoia is not the only place you will find works of art by this talented artist. You will find a Museo Marino Marini in Milano and the Museo Marino Marini di S. Pancrazio in Florence.
This is definitely a great alternative to the traditional tour of the city. It is one of those afternoon strolls that will transform an everyday walk into a beautiful moment filled with history and cultural.
Buona immersione artistica!