Between 1916–1922, Morandi experimented with the Italian movement Pittura Metafisica (Metaphysical Painting) led by Italian artists Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. The paintings made in this style often followed aesthetics of Surrealism coupled with sharp contrasts of light and dark imbibing a threatening and mysterious aura to the work.Read More
Morandi's painting, Metaphysical Still Life (1918) is a depiction of a bottle and several other rounded objects in a muted tan colour palette. The strokes Morandi employs in this work are definitive and certain, each edge and shadow achieving an almost graphic quality.
Morandi developed his signature style following his experimentation with Metaphysical Painting. His work after that period contained a hazy and dreamlike quality, with the edges of his bottles, vases, and buildings blurred and softened.
The colour palette of Morandi's paintings was also typically subdued and muted, employing painterly strokes of pale browns, blues, reds, and yellows. The subjects of Morandi's still lifes were often everyday objects found in kitchens such as jars, ceramic bowls, vases, and glasses. His oeuvre often contained the same domestic objects in each painting, subtly rearranged and repositioned. In comparison to the definitive strokes in his previous work, these paintings, instead, seem only to hint at forms rather than explicitly demarcating them.
The same can be said for Morandi's landscapes. Much of his scene painting seems to give viewers only traces of discernible, recognisable shapes, appearing as abstracted views akin to the work of the impressionists. In a 1942 landscape, he evokes the shapes of trees in the distance through short brushstrokes littered across the canvas.
Apart from oil on canvas, Morandi has also created prints of his still lifes with etching techniques, creating more contrasted, yet still fuzzy images of the objects in his studio.