Morandi’s house was built at the end of the fifties and has become a museum when Maria Teresa Morandi, Giorgio’s younger sister, donated it to Grizzana Municipality, provided that it would be kept in its state and made visitable. She died in this house in 1994.
Nowadays it is a small museum where everything is left unchanged: family things, holy pictures on the walls, clothing in the wardrobes, paintbrushes, color tubes, jugs, cans and several postcards: among them, one written by Sandro Pertini ( the future Italian Republic President) in 1960.
This two-flat house has been designed taking Veggetti-House - the opposite one - as a landmark. Morandi’s family had been hosted there since 1913 and Giorgio’s loved landscape was at a stone’s throw: just opening the window, one could admire the woods and Campiaro haylofts.
Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) had three sisters: Anna, Dina and Maria Teresa. He stayed in Grizzana for the first time in 1913, after his sister Anna felt ill and the doctor advised to spend some time in a salubrious place.
Therefore, Morandi’s neighbours in Bologna, the Veggetti family, invited him and his family to spend the summer in their holiday home in Grizzana. There, Anna recovered from her illness and Giorgio felt in love with that landscape. Apart from some short stays in nearby places, Morandi’s family started to spend the summers in Grizzana, always as a guest of Veggetti family.
During the Second World War, between 1943 and 1944, they spent an year as evacuees in Grizzana, where they thought they would find a quieter situation than in town. Actually, the Direttissima railway was heavily bombed and in July 1944 two massacres also took place (Piandisetta and Bolzo); these were the anticipators of Montesole mass murder. Consequently, at the beginning of September they went back to Bologna.
After the war, they didn’t go back to Grizzana for some years but the call of this place was too strong. For this reason, at the end of the '50 they decided to build their house in a piece of land that previously belonged to the Veggetti family: the place where the artist loved painting.
By that time Giorgio Morandi had already become very famous (thanks to his fame he had also obtained the chair of “Engraving Technique” at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna) and therefore could afford a more luxurious house. Despite that, he wanted to design it exactly as it is: very simple and essential, as the objects that he loved to paint. Inside Morandi’s house, the library, the studio and the bedroom are very interesting.
The library allows to understand Giorgio Morandi’s literary preferences and several books also contain dedications by the authors to Giorgio or his sisters. These are evidences of Giorgio’s frequent contacts with leading figures of the cultural world. On the walls, there are photolithographs of some of his aquarelles. It is interesting to notice the vases with the typical shapes that the painter liked so much and, inside the cupboard, the glasses and the bottles left exactly as they were at that time.
As the library, the dining room shows essential but elegant furnishings: on a furniture a portrait of Giorgio, Anna and Dina; beside it some objects, some shells and further books and magazines speaking about the artist.
On the ground floor of the house there are Giorgio's sisters bedroom and the kitchen, where one can still find objects of the everyday family life.
On the second floor, there is a further bedroom that also belonged to his sisters. In this room, one can still find the wardrobes containing the original clothes and linen.
On the same floor, there are Giorgio's bedroom and studio. Here the studio and the bedroom are separated, differently from his house in Bologna.
As the entire house, the artist’s bedroom is evidence of the modesty of his life (only the small table is an intrusion and has been placed in the room by his sisters, with the purpose of increasing the available space in this essential house). The bed is exceptionally small for such a tall man and under the mattress there is a copper slab still to be carved. In the drawer of the writing desk it is still possible to find his paintbrushes (some of them with bristles snipped with the aim to realize a particular brushwork), his oil-colours (branded Windsor & Newton, from London), one book by Giotto and another by Masaccio, some cigarettes and a coin purse.
The studio-laboratory shows the artist’s daily working tools as well as many other objects (vases, jars and jugs) from that he took his inspirations and that were subjects of his famous Still Lifes, characterized by pale colours and lit by an impalpable light. The studio is left unchanged since the last summer that Morandi spent in Grizzana, in 1963. In this room there are also frames, canvas, paintbrushes. A travel easel is left in a corner together with the bag for colours, while a studio easel is placed in the windows light. From these windows, Morandi painted the haylofts and the Houses "La Sete" and "Le Lame".
It is interesting to notices the jars of Ovaltine that Morandi used to repaint before using them for his Still Lives as he was certainly fascinated by their very simple and essential shape.
On the basement, in the garage, there was still the gray FIAT 850 used by the family. Now it is exposed in the garden of the House, completely restored.
Many of the places painted in Morandi’s Landscapes are near the House-Museum and it is still possible to walk through the ways covered by the artist to reach different positions immersed in nature, and hiding away from prying eyes. Indeed, he used to go out early in the morning with everything necessary for drawing and painting, setting off for solitary paths and dusty ways.