Still Life with a Statue II, 1921
oil on canvas
47.8 x 66.2 cm
The work Still Life with a Statue II points to artistic models and tendencies that Tartaglia skilfully combines in a personal version of the still life genre. The colour palette is dark, reduced to ashen and earth tones that are complemented with refined shading (cit. T. Maroević). Indications of warm colours are visible only in the depiction of fruit on the table and the bowl. The scene is set in the manner of Cézanne’s still lifes in which solid objects are placed in “floating compositions”, while the choice of colours is the result of the post-war expressionist painting and the mindset of devastated Europe.
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-years-old, his style has developed, expanded and was 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. 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 at the 1918 Exhibition of Independent Artists in Rome 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 1931, he became a full professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and in 1947 a full member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts.
Text: Zlatko Tot, curator intern ©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić ©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb