Born in Tunisia in 1894 Giovanni March moved to Leghorn the hometown of his parents in 1908, after the sudden death of his father. Financial hardship forced him to try his hand at various professions including that of being a decorator. In about 1916-17, he was working on the decorations of some villas at Castiglioncello, when he met the Leghorn artists Puccini, Bartolena and Nomellini, and began to teach himself how to paint. From 1917 and 1919 he was at the Front. In 1919, he returned to live in Florence, decided to concentrate full-time on art encouraged in this by his friend Ludovico Tommasi.

In 1921 he held his first personal exhibition in Florence, at the Gonnelli, and this is how he began exhibiting. In 1923 he showed work at the “La Vinciana” gallery in Milan. In 1927, still in Milan, he was introduced to Carlo Carrà’s gallery “L’Esame”, becoming close friends with him. Between 1924 and 1928 he travelled around the Versilia where, in the summer, he met the most important names in Italian art and culture: Carrà, Soffici, Chini, Longanesi, Viani and many others.

Between 1928 and 1930 he went to live in France, first in Nice and later Paris. He was drawn towards Post-Impressionism and his work began to develop a brighter palette and greater conciseness and essentialism. In 1930, on his return to Italy, he settled for some time in Rome. In 1931 March he held a large personal exhibition at the “Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Firenze”.

In 1932 he went back to Leghorn and in ’38 moved to Florence, where he remained for about 20 years. Perhaps his best work dates to the 30’s and 40’s. He made a second trip to Paris in 1951 and on returning to Italy he began exhibiting even more frequently. In 1953 he showed works in Naples, in 1956 in Florence, Leghorn and Pisa. In the latter part of his career he concentrated on still life.

From 1958 he lived both in Florence and Leghorn, ending his life in Leghorn on 30 October 1974.

Written by: Gioela Massagli – Translated by: Catherine Biggerstaff

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