"The City Rises" by Umberto Boccioni

Topics: Futurism


Futurism practically seems self-explanatory due to the word future in the context. However to better understand it, Futurist is a field name for scientists that are involved in the studies of the future which is futurology. They explore possible outcomes & predictions that the future may have. They rely on the present to further understand what can happen. Otherwise, some futurists wouldn’t be exactly considered a scientist but an artist. Futurism first originated in Italy around the beginning of the 20th century and would be considered an artistic and social movement.

Its work has a background of many subjects such as the youth, violence, speed, technology & common objects such as cars, airplanes, and industrial cities. Since its origin was Italy the main influencers of this movement Its key were decent Italians such as Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. Cubism which is another form of art style gave common shares to the formation of Italian Futurism.

Futurism wasn’t just practiced in one way but in many ways, Futurists created fond art in painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even Futurist meals, which would probably make you hungry. In a few ways, Futurism caused other art movements a little inspiration such as Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, and Dada.

The City Rises

The painting “The City Rises” by Umberto Boccioni is known as one of the first arts of Futurism.

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Even after futurism was introduced to society, this specific painting was declared Neo-Impressionism and Symbolism. The City Rises was finished by 1910 as an oil on canvas. Before the final version, Boccioni made numerous sketches of the city rises. This gave a sense of a perfect visual idea. The final painting can be found at the Museum of Modern Art on the 5th floor and its dimensions are 78 in × 119 according to MoMA. It took a year to complete the painting as a final and afterward it took a trip around Europe for people to look at. The city rises shows the character of hard work and progress, not to mention there is a level of modern civilization taking place in the background. But to be more clear on what is being depicted in the piece of art is a whole lot of noise. Most of the space is being used by men and horses. The story behind that tells us that a large horse races into the streets while workers struggle to gain control of the animals aka horses. It is defined as a problem between man and beast. The painting also shows a new beginning for these people. The witness of a modern city. You can tell they are constructing new structures that seem to be about 4 to 7 stories tall. The way it was painted shows no closed contours that make detail but contour lines that blend in together to make a visual image. The message behind this painting was to give a sense of hard work. To inform people in a visual way of what these workers had to go through to create a modern city.

Umberto Boccioni Biobeing

Umberto Boccioni was born on October 19th, 1882 at Reggio di Calabria in Italy. He is known for many things such as a painter, sculptor, and theorist of the Futurist movement as he shaped its revolutionary aesthetic. After moving to Sicily with his father to finish school Umberto would move again to Rome where he would study art at a school called,” Scuola Libera del Nudo of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Rome”. During these times Umberto wrote an autobiography that details his personality of outrage and irony. In 1906 he moved to Paris to study impressionist and post-impressionist styles. After that, he took drawing classes at the” Accademia di Belle Arti of Venice. As you can tell he already has a huge background in the statistics of art. Umberto became an important theorist of the artistic movement. Many others had joined along in this movement such as Severini, Braque, and Picasso. There are 2 main paintings Umberto had created that caught his eyes and those were The City Rises & Riot in the Gallery. Umberto was most likely influenced by cubism in 1911 and during that time he began sculpting. So what he did was combine two styles and created Unique Forms of Continuity in Space. It was known as one of his best famous works. After a good-headed career, he switched sides and joined the army to fight in World War 1. During the war, he fell from the horse and was technically killed on the spot. A very influential person was lost in the world which had caused an end to the movement. People will pay for their respect for such a powerful message behind his works and creating works of art that give out new beginnings. We can say he was one of the most talented futurist artists.

Personal Feeling Actually I had planned a trip to MoMA to further my choices with a friend who was doing the same assignment but at a different school. We passed through the 5th floor back and forth and we came upon The City Rises by Umberto Boccioni. I have to say that in person it looks a lot different when up close. There was this feeling of anger mainly because my thought was that it was an abstract painting. But as I and my friend look at it more we slowly depict what it is. Such as “ That’s a human, the wait is that a bear”. The more I looked at it the more I seemed to see the actual image. So it turns out to be a horse and people raging about something. So perhaps that can explain why I felt anger because though the colors were almost vibrant but the painting just shows people’s feelings. It’s fascinating trying to figure out what an image is but that’s because you’re close to it. You see more of how it was painted rather than what is painted. So if you had walked back a few steps you may see an actual story through your eyes. This is the main reason why I chose this painting. The actual movement of futurism is creative to talk and portray on its about.

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"The City Rises" by Umberto Boccioni. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-city-rises-by-umberto-boccioni/

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