Detail of Balla’s apartment at Fondazione MAXXI. Photo: ©Musacchio, Ianniello & Pasqualini.
Born in Turin in 1871, artist Giacomo Balla went on to become one of the world’s best-known Modernist artists. Associated with the Italian Futurists, he left an indelible mark on the history of painting, uniting elements of fantasy with close studies of light, space, and movement.
Inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s dynamic photographs, and along with peers Umberto Boccioni, Gino Severini, and Mario Sironi, Balla infused his works with the Futurist ethos that pervaded Italy in his day. It was not without controversy: members of the movement, including the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who wrote the Futurist Manifesto, were closely aligned with Italian Fascism. Those ties are what led Balla to break with the group.