A new movement

In 1909 the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti announced in the Parisian newspaper Le Figaro a new movement: Futurism. This is not just an artistic avantgarde movement, but an attitude to life. Being a ‘Futurist’ stands for being young, modern and rebellious. Everything has to be radically changed; not just the arts but all society.

In one single image

In the visual arts the Futurists wanted to express the dynamism of their times, the sensation of speed and constant movement or change. Giacomo Balla, one of the leaders of the movement, developed his own style to express this. In his work he strove to capture in one single image the movements in real life the eye is bombarded with.

Suggestion of speed

In this study of a group of swallows flying past the roof gutter of a building, Balla depicts the flight movements of the birds. The sequence of consecutive moments of bird flight creates an image which suggests high velocity and evokes the rapid succession of film images.

YouTube series about futurism

Want to know more about futurism and movement? In this video, educator Matthea talks about how the futurists try to capture speed and movement in their art. You can find more videos on futurism on our YouTube channel.