By the early 1950s Marca-Relli developed a technique of abstract collage, attaching biomorphically-shaped pieces of painted or dyed canvas to the surfaces of his pictures. While his fellow Abstract Expressionists in the Club on Eighth Street generally avoided representative subject matter in their work, Marca-Relli often evoked the tradition of Renaissance painting. In this work, he paraphrases the fifteenth-century painter Paolo Uccello's famous scenes commemorating Florence's victory over Siena in the Battle of San Romano in 1432, deliberately using a canvas of the same dimensions as those of the three Renaissance panels now found in the Louvre, the Uffizi, and the National Gallery, London.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): MARCA-RELLI
[Stable Gallery, New York, 1956; sold to MMA]
New York. Stable Gallery. "Corrado Marca–Relli," November 5–December 1, 1956, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Three Centuries of American Painting," April 9–October 17, 1965, unnum. checklist.
New York. Sidney Mishkin Gallery, Baruch College. "Reclaiming Artists of the New York School: Toward a More Inclusive View of the 1950s," March 18–April 22, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 24).
P[arker]. T[yler]. "Four Recommended for November: Corrado Marca–Relli." Art News 55 (November 1956), pp. 36, 67.
Henry Geldzahler. American Painting in the Twentieth Century. New York, 1965, pp. 201–3, ill.