Marino Marini was born in Pistoia, Italy. He began his fine arts career in Florence, where he studied painting, graphic techniques and sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti. Between 1929 and 1940, Marini taught at the art school in Monza. He was made Professor of Sculpture at the Brera Academy in Milan in 1940, for although he had begun his career primarily as a painter, by 1931 he had turned to sculpture, the medium for which he is now best known. However, Marini prepared for his sculptured pieces by making numerous sketches in many media-pen drawings, lithographs, gouaches, and oil paintings. His three-dimensional sculptures are done in plaster, wood, or bronze, and occasionally in stone.
By using a great variety of different media, Marini expresses emotions through color, form, and with a plasticity that in its polychromatic range and its archaic simplicity of shape goes back through the centuries to very early Chinese figurines and Etruscan or Greco-Roman sculpture. His colors are bright: dark wine-reds, purples, and mottled whites, or deep blues, grays, and browns. His themes are few: portrait heads, female figures, and the horse or horse and rider. Marini’s works are noble, rhythmic, and strikingly dynamic. Since 1955 he has become more and more dramatic, roughening the surfaces of his sculptured pieces, distorting their masses, and creating etchings and lithographs as well as paintings with a style, a purity of line that is extremely moving.