Gianfranco Contini argues that Marino Marini was endowed with a “sculptural mentality”, and supports in his affirmation critical contributions such as the vital one, which finds in Marini’s work an aspiration of a representation of the natural datum that reaches a absolute plastic; or more, of Argan, which highlights the overcoming of the conflict between plastic volumes and impressionist plasticity. Moreover, according to Guido Giuffrè, in the video “La grande arte”, “in this century nobody realized the tradition in modernity like Marino”.
Giuffrè emphasizes that tradition, is not for Marini derivative loyalty to the past but “faith in certain values, values of the world, man, history, a certain way of life, a certain consideration of life and its affairs”. Modernity for Marino is for Giuffrè “awareness of his own time” understood as complete adherence to new criteria, new values, to contemporary thought. Moreover, Georg Picht in Kunst and mythos (Strukturgard, 1987) argues that “also art in the twentieth century lives by mythical experiences”. Werner Haftman points out that the work of Marini has to be seen in this sense. “Also this – writes Haftman – belongs to the highest levels of modern art, who find in their images and their shapes coming from fundamental mythical experiences”. Marino Marini, as Haftman remembers, was often referred to as a “descendant of the Etruscans” and when, “he tried to mimic their gestures as to better explain what they meant to say, then it became a single thing with its creatures, this particular breed from the remote origin”. In essence, the “definition of a decisive archetypal mythical figure is the authentic task that Marino Marini proposes to face through his sculpture”.
Marino Marini’s portraits deserve a chapter apart. Guido Giuffrè writes in this regard: “The heads, that is, the portraits that Marino knew how to make, were not sculptures but complete novels”. And the same artist writes that after fixing the essential formal elements, “one must enter the spirit of the character: here is the difficulty of imagining this physiognomy in the space of humanity, that is, what it represents about other men and other human personalities; said this is all done. this truth must resist me until I complete the portraiture work. (…) Finishing this task, placing the subject in the realm of the dead who remain alive, I give over my work”.