Piero Marussig

Piero Marussig

Trieste
16 maggio 1879


Pavia
13 ottobre 1937

Biography

Piero Marussig (Trieste 1879-Pavia 1937), after having trained in his hometown under the guidance of Eugenio Scomparini, a student of Grigoletti, decides to complete his training while travelling between the major European cities, such as Vienna, Munich, and Paris, where he comes into contacts with the Impressionists, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Seurat. After his marriage with Rina Drenik in 1903, he went to Rome to deepen his knowledge of the classics, becoming specifically passionate of Titian: his presumed first participation in an exhibition is from this period. Back in Trieste, he continues with a tonal painting dominated by pale colors and blues, alternating experimentations with etching, including Portrait of a woman (1910). In 1906 is his first documented show, at the Exposition of Milan for the inauguration of the new pass of the Simplon. Around 1912 his first expressive turn took place: in the works of secessionist and monastic ancestry insists an expressionist lighting of colors. Moreover, from April to October of the same year, for the first time, he took part in the work on the grass at the Venice Biennale, where from this moment he will always be present. There is little news of him during the war period. In these years, however, he continues to paint, leading to extreme consequences, in some cases the flipping of the sign. Works like Trees in Bloom of 1917 are structured as a dusting of color-matter, stimulated by a strong linearism. In the ‘20s he abandoned the expressionist period, arriving to a more classical language. In the aftermath of the disappearance Carrà wrote of him: “All the canvases that Marussig left us reveal the moral directness of this disinterested artist, the whole work posulates an ethical principle and purpose that in itself transcends it. […] Marussig would have wanted to have been born to dream, and up to a certain point his existence was that of a solitary man. He was an aristocrat of the spirit, and he had a passion so pure and strong for art that perhaps it was not understood even by us who were close to him”.