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UMBERTO BOCCIONI
(Reggio Calabria, 1882 - Sorte, Verona, 1916). After graduation from the Istituto Tecnico in Catania, in 1901 Boccioni settled in Rome, where he enrolled in the Scuola Libera del Nudo and took lessons from a designer of advertising signs. Along with Gino Severini he began painting en plein air in the Roman countryside. Both of them frequented the studio of Giacomo Balla, who taught them Divisionist technique. After brief stays in Paris, Russia, Padua, and Venice, in 1907 he established residence in Milan, where he painted a series of urban landscapes, both of the outskirts and of the expanding city.

Crucial encounters for him were those with Gaetano Previati and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, with whose Manifesto del Futurismo, of 1909, he was already familiar. In 1910 he issued with Balla, Carlo Carrŕ, Luigi Russolo, and Severini the Manifesto dei pittori futuristi, which was followed by the Manifesto tecnico della pittura futurista; in July of the same year he held a solo exhibition at Ca’ Pesaro in Venice, where, presented by Marinetti, he exhibited forty works.

In the early years of the second decade he was one of the protagonists of Italian Futurism and participated in the group’s major shows in Italy and abroad. Besides his activity as painter, critic, and promoter of Futurism, he began to work also in sculpture: in 1912 he wrote the Manifesto tecnico della scultura futurista and in 1914 Pittura, scultura futurista. A convinced interventionist, Boccioni signed the manifestos Sintesi futurista della guerra in 1914 and Orgoglio italiano in 1915, when he enlisted in the Battaglione volontari ciclisti.

After a phase of painting bordering on abstraction, in his last production he manifested an attenuation of the dynamic element and a return to the lessons of Cézanne.