His Pygmalion was Ardengo Soffici, impressed by the passion of a young self-taught but endowed with the sacred fire of art. Quinto Martini (Seano, 1908 – Florence, 1990), son of farmers Torello and Stella Cinelli, alternated field work with his parents at a young age and was interested in “kneaded a lot and tried to depict the bodies of the sleeping men“. At seventeen, Martini met Soffici in Poggio a Caiano and showed him some drawings: Ardengo was struck by his hand and decided to pave his way into the world of art. Quinto published the sheets in the magazine Soffici in 1926 The wild and presents some paintings in the first collective exhibition that arose around the publication.
The beginning of Quinto Martini’s career
After this strong sign of encouragement, he decides to devote himself entirely to art and begin a career that will bring him great joy. When he takes up suggestions from Giotto’s painting in the paintings, the reference to archaic and primitive forms becomes even more clearly visible in the sculpture, for example in works like Paesanain stone and terracotta in 1928. It is the same year in which he is transferred to Turin to fulfill his military obligations: in the Savoyard city he meets Felice Casorati And Carlo Levi, which represent further impulses for the young artist. After returning to his home village of Seano in Tuscany, he resumed his relationship with Soffici, who supported the development of his visual research.
Quinto Martini: Antifascism and the last years
In the 1930s, however, criticism focused primarily on sculptural production, which was based on forms from the Etruscan world. “I’m attached to art and it doesn’t give up on me and I don’t give up on it“, explains Martini, who moved to Florence in 1935. This is where intensive exhibition activity began, which led to him presenting his works in the Galleria della Cometa in Rome and at the Venice Biennale (where he exhibited the terracotta sculpture in 1934). Seanese girl) and at all editions of the Quadrennial from 1935 to 1972. As a friend of Carlo Levi – with whom he shared a common anti-fascist ideal – Martini suffered several sufferings Threats from the regime, which culminated in the closure of his solo exhibition at the Lyceum in Florence, followed by several months in prison. Difficult moments that will lead to the autobiographical novel The days are longpublished 1957: an account of the times in which he lived confidentiality in the Tuscan countryside to escape the Germans. From the beginning of the 1950s he began to create large-scale concrete sculptures, always linked to figurative themes, among which the portraits of his family members stand out. In the 1980s he became increasingly associated with Seano, where he created a park of outdoor works dedicated to his production, bringing together 36 bronze sculptures and inaugurated in 1988.