Arturo Martini

Il bevitore

The sculpture entitled Il bevitore was done during Arturo Martini’s experimental phase in which he used different techniques to make large sculptures in terracotta. Martini was using the clay model method at the time and had not yet switched to the use of a plaster mould to obtain certain examples by using the mass production method for ceramic articles.

The sculptor appears to be still in obeisance to the concepts expressed in Valori Plastici, magazine in constructing a seated figure by assembling triangular cones and postures in alternation on the cylinder of the bust and the trunk.

The problem of the date of the work was solved by Nico Stringa, who set its execution at 1928 based on direct testimony from the artist. Martini remembered firing the sculpture in the furnace in Nervi, the operative headquarters of ILCA Ceramic Company for whom he had made a number of pieces in ceramic. Together with La Pisana, Il bevitore may be considered a “dress rehearsal” for large terracotta sculptures, the unique pieces he began modelling in 1929. Two examples exist: Mario Labò transferred one to the Jesi Collection currently in the Brera Pinacoteca in Milan; the other one originally in the Basile di Albisola Collection is now part of the Carraro Collection.


Gianni Vianello, Nico Stringa, Claudia Gian Ferrari, Arturo Martini. Explanatory catalogue of the sculpture, Neri Pozza, Vicenza 1998, pages 154-155 (with previous references). Creature. Il sogno della terracotta, Bononia University Press, Bologna 2013, exhibition catalogue (Bologna, Palazzo Fava, September 22, 2013 – January 12, 2014), pages 11, 17, 20.

Arturo Martini
Terracotta from mould. Inscription on base: “Martini”.
150×54×70.3 cm