Marino Marini is born in Pistoia in 1901. In 1917 he enrolls at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence where he attends classes on painting and sculpture. His first creative years are, in fact, dedicated to painting, drawings and graphics.
In 1926 he moves to Florence; the following year he meets Monza Arturo Martini who, two years later, calls him to teach in his place at the I.S.I.A. at the Villa Reale in Monza. In 1928, he participates in a show in Milan with the group “Novecento”. In 1929 he travels to Paris where he meets De Pisis, Picasso, Maillol, Lipchitz, Braque and Laurents. He continues to exhibit with the group “Novecento” in Milan (1929), in Nice (1929), in Helsinki (1930), in Stockholm (1931).
His first solo show in Milan is in 1932 and three years later he wins number 1 prize for the best sculpture at the Quadriennial in Rome. In these years Marini focuses his artistic creation on two subjects: the knight and the Pomona. In 1938 he marries Mercedes Pedrazzini, affectionately nicknamed Marina, the woman who will accompany him all his life.
In 1940 he leaves Monza to teach at the Accademia di Brera in Milan for three years. In 1943 he then moves to Switzerland to escape the war. In these years he meets Wotruba, Germaine Richier, Giacometti, Haller and Banninger. He exhibits in Basel, Bern and Zurich. With the end of the war, Marini returns to Milan, re-opening his studio and returning to his teachings at the Academy.
In 1948 the Venice Biennial dedicates a whole room just for his artworks; he meets Curt Valentin, an art dealer who will introduce him to the European and American markets. During his stay in the USA, Marini meets Arp, Feininger, Calder, Dal and Tanguy. He exhibits solo for the first time in New York in 1950, then continues showing in Zurich in 1962, in Rome in 1966 and in Japan in 1978.
In 1973, the Museo Marino Marini opens in the Civica Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan; in 1976, the Nuova Pinacoteca di Monaco di Baviera dedicates him a personal permanent exhibition room.
Marini dies in Viareggio in 1980. A few years later, in 1988, the Museo Marino Marini opens in Florence, followed by a donation of artworks to the artist’s favorite city.