Marino Tartaglia, Interior (with Totica),1930

Marino Tartaglia
Interior (with Totica),1930
oil on canvas, 81.2 x 100 cm

The painting Interior (with Totica) is an example of Tartaglia’s masterful colourism. The meticulous approach to the sophistication of red shades that range from the red wall, Totica’s hair, through the darker blanket, even darker floor, all the way to the brown-reddish skirt are sufficient indicators that the focus is placed on the superposition of shades. The central part of the scene is framed with cold tones of the window and greenish and blue curtains. In addition, two large-scale “oils on canvas” are hung on the wall of the interior, the presence of which adds a note of realism and a variety of colour shades in general. The seated female figure placed in the centre of the scene is presented as a doll, that is, as a wooden painting aid for learning anatomy, verging on lifelessness. Only its size contributes to the impression that it is actually a real person.
Born in Zagreb in a family of sailors from Split, Marino Tartaglia (1894-1984) is an artist whose oeuvre can hardly be categorised by one style. Having lived to be ninety, his style has been developed, expanded and supplemented with different stylistic tendencies. Tartaglia’s oeuvre is a synthesis of different artistic styles ranging from El Greco and Tintoretto, Primitivism, Cézannism, Cubism, Futurism all the way to Neoclassicism, Colourism and Lyrical and Reductive Abstraction. After having finished primary school, he moved to Italy, where in 1912 he began his studies in Florence and in Rome at the Instituto Superiore di Belle Arti. During his studies he came into contact with representatives of Futurism. He was the only foreign artist to have exhibited his work in Rome in 1918 at the Exhibition of Independent Artists together with Italian Avant-Gardists (C. Carà, G. De Chirico, E. Prampolini). After the end of World Wat I, he lived in Split, Vienna, Belgrade and France. In 1947, he became a full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and in the same year became a full member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts. He exhibited his work at the first exhibition of the City Gallery of Contemporary Art in Zagreb in 1955. In 1964, he was the recipient of the “Vladimir Nazor” Lifetime Achievement Award.

Text: Zlatko Tot, curator intern © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić © National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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