Futurism developed in Italy around the same time as cubism appeared in France. Like cubism, futurism was short-lived, lasting only from 1909 until 1916.

Futurism was the first of many movements that tried to break from the past in all areas of life.

About Futurism

Art of the Futurism period glorified the machine age, modern life, and war. Artists wanted their work to capture the power, excitement, and speed of modern industrial society. Futurism artwork often depicted motorcycles, automobiles, and trains.

Artists learned to break up realistic pictures into multiple images, overlapping the various colours.

Noteworthy Futurist Artists

The movement began when the poet Filippo Marinetti issued the first manifesto of Futurism. On the first page of the manifesto, Marinetti declared, “set fire to the library shelves… flood the museums.”

Marinetti appeared to be more interested in shocking the public than making actual changes in society. However, many artists took Marinetti’s words seriously. Martinetti was joined by artists Giacomo Balla, Carlo Barra, Luigi Russolo, and Gino Severini, and Umeberto Boccioni.

Some well known paintings of this period include Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space and The City Rises.

The End of Futurism

By 1916, futurism had lost its vigour, but the movement inspired other future modern art movements, including Dadaism, Expressionism, and Surrealism.

Futurism also inspired artists Marcel Duchamp and Robert Delaunay, who were instrumental in the cubism movement.

Other Art Movements

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