Umberto Boccioni

1882-1916 Italy/Futurist


Brief Biography-Umberto Boccioni was born the son of an Italian Government official who travelled a great deal. He spent his early years moving from city to city until finishing up his education in Sicily at the age of fifteen. In 1898, he moved to Rome to study art with a commercial artist and was not disposed to traditional formal instruction.

In 1901, he met the Divisionist painter Giacomo Balla; he studied with Balla along with Gino Severini who became a good friend of his. In 1906, he went to Paris for a short spell where he earned a meagre living from doing illustrations. A year later he moved to Milan to live with his mother and sister, he was very firmly attached to his mother and stayed there for the next eight years. Up to 1907, he wasn't sure what style he was developing in his art, but Boccioni knew that he wanted to paint the new industrial age.

In 1909, everything changed when he encountered the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti who launched "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism" which was an attack on the establishment. Together with Marinetti and two other artists Luigi Russolo and Carlo Carra, they drew up the "Manifesto of Futurist Painters". He shortly afterwards painted his first actual futurist painting "Riot in the Galleria".

Futurism took off in Milan while at the same time Cubism was emerging in Paris. Boccioni and Carra went to Paris to study Picasso and subsequently merged Cubism into their work. In 1912, they had a successful exhibition in Paris despite a considerable amount of criticism there; futurism was not popular in Paris. It travelled to several European Capitals after Paris.

Boccioni took up sculpturing the next year which culminated in his most famous work "Unique Forms of Continuity in Space" which a lot of us in Europe today carry around in our pockets on the Italian 20 cent coin. Boccioni felt tempestuous about Italy not being part of the war when it broke out, and when Italy became involved, he joined up with enthusiasm. His content spell in the army was short-lived, he had a fatal horse-riding accident in 1916, and the war itself brought an end to the Futurist movement.


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dynamism of
a human body

dynamism of a human body

dynamism of a
human body two

dynamism of a human body two




ferruccio busoni


signora massimino


The Farewels


The Morning

Riot In the

Riot in the Galleria

Who Go

Those who Go


Moderen Idol


Self Portrait


The Laugh

of a Biker

Dynamism of a Biker

Dynamism of
a Soccer Player

Dynamism of a Soccer Player


Simultaneous Views

Plastic Forms
of a Horse

Plastic Forms of a Horse


The Street Pavers

The City
Rises Two

The City Rises Two

States of Mind
Those Who Stay

States of Mind Three Those Who Stay

The Street Enters
the House

The Street Enters the House

City Rises

The City Rises

Under the Pergola
in Naples

Under the Pergola in Naples


Industriou Landscape

unique forms of
continuity in space

unique forms of continuity in space