The Influence of Blaise Pascal on the Art of Giorgio Morandi
Due to the overt simplicity of his methods and style, Italian artist, Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), is thought to be a precursor to Minimalism. While I do not dispute the connection, I am convinced that Pascal’s early work in geometry and his strong Christian beliefs served as a major source of inspiration for Morandi’s originality and artistic vision. As Pascal proclaimed “Let a mite be given to him [the reader]. Let him see therein an infinity of universes.” Morandi had no need to leave Bologna. Infinity was there on the Via Fondazza. It is also seen in the many paintings of his simple jars sitting on table tops, which Morandi uses as a window to the infinite, to God.
Morandi once said, “You cannot demonstrate your own greatness by remaining at one extreme, but by reaching out to both extremes at the same time, and filling the intermediate space.” Where does this idea emanate? Pascal had said many years before, “A man does not show his greatness by being at one extremity, but rather by touching both at once.”