Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Marinetti is known best as the author of the Futurist Manifesto, which he wrote in 1908. It was published in French on the front page of the most prestigious French daily newspaper, Le Figaro, on 20 February 1909. In The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism, Marinetti declared that "Art [...] can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice." Since that text proclaims the unity of life and art, Marinetti understood violence not only as a means of producing an aesthetic effect, but also as being inherent to life itself. George Sorel, who influenced the entire political spectrum from anarchism to Fascism, also argued for the importance of violence. Futurism had both anarchist and Fascist elements; Marinetti later became an active supporter of Benito Mussolini.
Influenced by Marinetti, Giacomo Balla adopted the Futurism style, creating a pictorial depiction of light, movement and speed. He was signatory to the Futurist Manifesto in 1910 and began designing and painting Futurist furniture and also created Futurist "antineutral" clothing. He also taught Umberto Boccioni. In painting, his new style is demonstrated in the 1912 work titled Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash. Seen here, is his 1914 work titled Abstract Speed + Sound (Velocità astratta + rumore). In 1914, he also began sculpting and the following year created perhaps his best known sculpture called Boccioni's Fist.
A native of Reggio Calabria, Boccioni studied art through the Scuola Libera del Nudo at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, beginning in 1901. He also studied design with a sign painter in Rome. Together with his friend Gino Severini, he became a student of Giacomo Balla, a divisionist painter. In 1906, Boccioni studied Impressionist and Post-Impressionist styles in Paris. During the late 1906 and early 1907, he shortly took drawing classes at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. In 1901, Boccioni first visited the Famiglia Artistica, a society for artists in Milan. After moving there in 1907, he became acquainted with fellow Futurists, including the famous poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. The two artists would later join with others in writing manifestos on Futurism.