Marino Marini was born in Pistoia, Italy, in 1901 and studied painting and sculpture in Florence from 1917 onwards. He later taught in Monza and at the Accademia di Brera in Milan. On trips to Paris, he met Giorgio de Chirico, Vasily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. From 1941 to 1946, he spent time in Switzerland, where he met Alberto Giacometti and Fritz Wotruba.
Marino Marini’s work concentrated on a few motifs – horses and riders, acrobats, female figures and portraits–- which he repeatedly varied in a powerful new way. In so doing, he developed the archaising, abstracting simplification of form that is characteristic of his oeuvre.His notably memorable equestrian portraits deal with the inner as well as outer relationship between horse and rider, shaping them as a symbol of man's tragic existence and lost mastery of nature. Faced with the painful experiences of war, Marini’s depictions become increasingly expressive and abstract embodiments of a struggle against despair and ruin.
Today, Marini is considered to be one of the outstanding sculptors of the 20th century, alongside Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore. He has participated three times in the documenta in Kassel; in 1973, the Museo Marino Marini was opened in his honour in Milan’s Galleria Civica d'Arte, and in 1988 the Museo Marino Marini opened in Florence.