Umberto Boccioni


Born at Reggio, Calabriain 1882

Met Marinetti in 1910 and within a month had signed the Manifesto of Futurist Painters.

His early, pre-Futurist period was influenced by the Italian Divisionists and the Pointilism of Georges Seurat, it was not until 1912 that he joined the Futurist movement.

By 1912 he had moved towards sculpture  and in April issued his Futurist Manifesto of Sculpture in which he presented new techniques for rendering Futurist sculpture. In order to achieve simultaneity in sculpture, he described how the subject must be presented at different points in time as well as from multiple viewpoints.

He was heavily influenced by cubism, but in his painting and sculpture he used the Futurist approach to express dynamism of the human or animal form. During the last year of his life his paintings returned once more to the figurative with a realism that echo his pre-Futurist works. There are tinges of Expressionism as with Sylvia (1915), Italian Divisionism as in The Two Friends (1916).

Like most futurists, Boccioni was very politically active. In 1914 Boccioni demonstrated and agitated in favour of Italy's entry into the war. He only painted one work on the theme of war - The Charge of the Lancers.

When Italy entered the war in 1915, he joined a battalion of cyclist volunteers with Marinetti and other Futurists.

In August 1916, Boccioni accidently fell from his horse and was trampled. He died the following day.

Select Works from Umberto Boccioni

1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1915
1916