Marini often looked to classical art and texts for inspiration. This sculpture is based on Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and fruitfulness. However, instead of being a passive object of admiration, this figure is a thoroughly modern woman. Although she appears to be naked, the faint outline of a swimming costume, bathing cap, watch and a ring can be seen. Pomona was traditionally depicted with an apple in her hand. Here, her curvy figure suggests fertility and reflects her traditional role as goddess of fruitfulness, but she is presented to us primarily as an ordinary woman rather than as a goddess. Stepping forward, she suggests the increasingly active role contemporary women played in society.
Pomona is the Roman goddess of fruit who watched over the orchards. Normally her attribute is an apple carried in the hand, but this sculpture has been given a modern twist, and here she wears a watch, a ring and a bracelet. The outline of a swimsuit is suggested in places and she may be wearing a bathing-cap, which would explain her bald head. Marini was influenced by the work of Aristide Maillol, who made several versions of a Pomona sculpture. Marini's Pomona may be seen as a light-hearted response to the solemn gravity of Maillol's figures.
Sculptor Marino Marini was born in Pistoia in Italy. He lived in Florence from 1926 to 1929, before moving to Monza where he taught sculpture at the art school until 1940. After the war Marini settled in Milan, where he lived for the rest of his life, though he travelled widely in Europe. Marini worked primarily in bronze, and his work is strongly indebted to classical Greek, Etruscan and Roman sources. His favourite themes were the female nude, portrait busts and horse and rider sculptures. From 1948 Marini also painted colourful, semi-abstract paintings.
Abstract art, Bust, Classicism
Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.
Sculpted portrait consisting of the head and the top of the shoulders.
A general term for art and architecture based on ancient Greek and Roman culture.