Marino Marini (Italy, 1901-1980) was a graphic artist, painter, and sculptor. He started as a painter and studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy. A few years after finishing school, he began to focus on sculpting. Marini considered the sculptor and teacher Arturo Martini to be one of his early influences. When Martini gave up his position as an art professor at the Scuola d’Arte di Villa Reale in Monza, the artist took over the position. He worked at the school from 1929 to 1940.
Marini gained inspiration and critiques of his work from some of the top artists working in Paris at the time, including Alberto Magnelli, Giorgio de Chirico, and Massimo Campigli. He enjoyed traveling, and frequently visited Switzerland and France. He married Mercedes Pedrazzini in 1938, and, a few years later, he began working as a professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. The artist lived in Milan and Switzerland for several years, but eventually considered Milan to be his home.
Marini often exhibited his work in Italy and Switzerland, but he had his first show in the United States in 1944, when The Museum of Modern Art in New York held a show devoted to Modern Italian Art. The Buchholz Galley in New York also displayed his work. The artist traveled to New York and London for a showing of his work at the Hanover Gallery. This gave him the chance to meet some of the top sculptors and painters from the era, including Henry Moore. He also attended showings of his work at the Palazzo Venezia in Rome and the Kunsthaus Zürich in Zurich. The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., also showed his work. The Marino Marini Museum in Florence has more than 100 of his works on permanent display. One of his most famous pieces is the sculpture Cavaliere, which earned more than $7 million at auction in 2010. His other works include Cavallo, The Three Graces, and L’idea del cavaliere.