Helen Avati, widow of MARIO Avati, the undisputed master of mezzotint engravings in colors, donated a collection of 171 engravings to the Museum in 2011. A thematic presentation will allow us to discover about sixty of them.
Mario Avati, a French painter and etcher, was born in the Principality of Monaco on May 27th 1921and died in Paris on February 26th 2009. He lived and worked in Paris. After his studies at the ‘Ecole nationale des arts décoratifs de Nice’ [National School of Decorative Arts of Nice] and the ‘Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux- Arts de Paris’ [National College of Fine Arts of Paris], Mario Avati has been applying all etching techniques as from 1947. Ten years later, he almost exclusively focused on mezzotint; first in black and subsequently in colors (as from 1969). This way, he helped to relaunch this graphic technique as a support of popular expression. Several of his engravings were used in order to create stamps. In 1980, the postal administration reproduced, on the occasion of the ‘Journée du timbre’ [Stamp Day], the engraving ‘Lettre à Mélie’. Avati was a member of the ‘Société des peintres-graveurs français’ [Society of French painters and etchers]. The hundreds of prints he made, were mostly devoted to the study of the still life. Everyday objects were glorified by a rigorous technique and construction. The extreme simplicity of the compositions, their mystery and their inner light refers to the work of Morandi, whom the artist really admired.
The donation by Helen Avati, the artist's widow, is a collection of 171 engravings that reached the Museum in 2011. A thematic presentation will allow us to discover about sixty of them.