Boccioni Umberto

Boccioni Umberto

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Umberto Boccioni was born in Reggio Calabria on October 18, 1882. After graduating from the Technical Institute of Catania, he began his career as a writer and journalist at the "Gazzetta della Sera". In 1899 he moved to Rome, attending the Free School of Nude at theAcademy of Fine Arts. He also studied drawing under the poster designer Giovanni Mataloni. In 1900 he met Gino Severini and Giacomo Balla. The latter was his great teacher, introducing him to the secrets of the pointillist technique and to the study of light. Between 1903 and 1906 he exhibited his works at the Società Amatori e Cultori, while in 1905 he took part with Severini in the exhibition of refusals set up in the foyer of the Costanzi Theater by some young artists united by the controversy against the conservative attitude of the official juries. In 1906, thanks to a scholarship, he stayed in Paris; here he was able to deal with the painting of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Well introduced to the social life of the capital, he met the young and cultured Russian lady Augusta Petrovna Popoff, married to Berdnicoff. At the end of August Umberto Boccioni left for Russia, where he stayed for five months as a guest of the Berdnicoffs in Tzaritzin on the Volga, visiting Moscow, St. Petersburg and Warsaw. The only known painting from this period is the Portrait of Sophie Popoff. At the beginning of December, disappointed with the results of the trip, he returned to Italy. In Padua he met the lawyer Emilio Piccoli who was often a supportive help in the difficult economic situation. Between 1907 and 1910 he devoted himself to graphics, creating numerous posters and collaborating with some magazines, including "L'Illustrazione italiana". The meeting with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, with whom he worked, together with Luigi Russolo and Decio Cinti, on the drafting of the manifesto of futurist painters, published in February of the same year, dates back to January 1910; while on 11 April the technical manifesto of futurist painting. In July 1910 the Summer Exhibition was inaugurated at Palazzo Pesaro in Venice in which Boccioni participated with 42 works distributed in two rooms. For the occasion, Marinetti wrote the introduction to the “Umberto Boccioni collective exhibition”. In 1912 he exhibited in a group show set up in the Parisian gallery of Bernheim_Jeune, dedicated to “Les peintres futuristes italiens”. The exhibition, coldly received by critics, had as its second location the Sackville Gallery in London where, on the other hand, it had great success as well as in Berlin, Brussels, and Rotterdam. 

On 11 April 1912 he signed the Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture.

In the same year he participated in the 1st exhibition of Futurist painting in Rome, as well as presenting some Futurist sculptures at La Boétie in Paris, then at Sprovieri in Rome and, finally, at Gonnelli in Florence in 1913. Also in 1913 he collaborated with the magazine "Lacerba" directed by Giovanni Papini, an instrument for disseminating Futurist instances. He enlisted as a volunteer in 1915. In June 1916 he was a guest of the Casanova marquises in Pallanza on Lake Maggiore to paint the portrait of Ferruccio Busoni. Recalled to arms after his discharge, Umberto Boccioni died falling from his horse in Sorte, near Verona, on 17 August 1916.

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The works of Boccioni Umberto

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