The Artists Contributing To The Formation Of The Italian Futurism

Futurism originated in Italy during the 20th century and was considered to be the turning point in Italian art. This style can also be depicted as a Social movement and was launched by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Futurism is considered to be an avant-garde movement with its sole purpose to represent in art the spiritual and liveliness of the contemporary world. It emphasized speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city in aim to glorify and modernize Italy from its oppressive past. This artistic movement made use of aspects previously used in other movements such as Neo-impressionism and Cubism. Few to mention, artists such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Carlo Carra and Gino Severini laid down the path for further artists to contribute to the formation of the Italian Futurism’s artistic style. Futurists also explored in any medium of art such as paintings, sculptures and industrial and interior design leaving them able to convey their message throughout various works of art.

Futurists often depicted contemporary urban scenes. A perfect example of this is Carra’s, “Funeral of the Anarchist Galli” which was painted on a canvas involving previous events that the artist himself been tangled in. This work of art was intended to commemorate the passing away of Angelo Galli and his parade at his funeral. In the same canvas, Carra managed to picture the devastating strike which resulted in Galli’s death, the parade to the cemetery and also the violence which erupted between the police and the people present. But in aim to capture the audience’s attention, Carra lays in plain centre Galli’s red coffin raised above the crowd and surrounded by explosions of figures which are separated by light coming from the sun and also the coffin itself.

Another example of Futurism but expressing a different theme is Balla’s “Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash”, painted in black and white. This work of art amplifies the Futurists’ proclamation that the modern world is in continuous motion. To signify this, the artist depicts a dog on a leash and the feet of a woman walking. But by painting the legs of both the woman and the dog in rapid motion as indicated by the blurred and the numerous amounts of legs, he shows that we live in a constant moving world.

In “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space”, Umberto Boccioni expresses movement through a bronze Futurist sculpture. The sculpture represents a figure which is aerodynamically deformed and has a fluid form due to speed. The figure is also armless and without a face but that is somewhat intended to draw the audience’s attention towards the point of attention, the feet. By this Boccioni reached his goal in this work which was to depict a 'synthetic continuity' of motion instead of an 'analytical discontinuity'

'Boccioni's Elasticity of 1912 now begins to focus more exclusively on a study of vigorous, sequential movement, as foreign to the intellectual dynamics of Analytical Cubism as the aggressively harsh and sour colours. A literal demonstration of horsepower, Boccioni's machinelike horse thunders across an appropriately mechanized landscape of high-tension poles and factory chimneys. If in Cubism the spectator, by implication, moves around static objects, in a Futurist canvas like this the spectator remains static while moving objects rush across his field of vision once again indication motion.


  1. ‘Unique Forms of Continuity in Space’, Umberto Boccioni, 2019 Website: https://www. tate. org. uk/art/artworks/boccioni-unique-forms-of-continuity-in-space-t01589
  2. Carlo Carrà, Funeral of the Anarchist Galli. 2019, Website: https://www. khanacademy. org/humanities/art-1010/wwi-dada/art-great-war/a/carlo-carr-funeral-of-the-anarchist-galli
  3. Futurism – Art Term | Tate. 2019. Website: https://www. tate. org. uk/art/art-terms/f/futurism
10 December 2020
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