During the 1950s, Licini achieved the “metaphysical depiction of silence” (G. Marchiori) seen in his seascapes and night scenes. His poetic imagination was purified through renewed reflection on his abstract geometrical works of the 1930s, to the point that, when reinterpreting this period of his work, it is almost natural to call to mind some of the artist’s thoughts from that distant time. Licini wrote back then: “We will show that geometry can become feeling”; “signs express strength, will and ideas; colours convey magic. Signs, we said, not dreams”.
In Marina, attributed to the artist’s final period, the layout of the painting recovers a construction typical of Licinian syntax. From the line of the horizontal, a vanishing line rises diagonally towards the left, on which a construction of triangles pivoting towards the infinite is arranged. The surface is divided into blocks of bright, intense colours that find their natural equivalent in the complementary colour beside or opposite them. This colour, with its roots in the geometrical period of the 1930s, is described by Flaminio Gualdoni as “full and vibrant, composed of temperatures, and of sonorous and ambiguous tones, both tense and dense, and capable of vibrating even when the layer is full and uniform”. Gualdoni also writes: “it is colour with the estranged obviousness of a standard and with emotive surges that make it automatically symbolic and, in its intransitivity, marvellously capable of becoming the very identity of the fullness of emotion: the very location of the unreal, balanced between the experience of the world and that of the infinite”.


  • Title: Marine
  • Creator: Osvaldo Licini
  • Date: 1957
  • Date of acquisition: 1969
  • Acquisition: Donated by Paolo Licini
  • Provenance: GAM - Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: All rights reserved, GAM - GAM - Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin
  • Medium: Oil on paper

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps