Giacomo Balla

"Speed of the automobile " is an oil on canvas and belongs to a series begun between 1913 and 1914.

The central theme of all these paintings is the scansion of the speed of the car studied and represented by Balla in a variety of expressive modes and formats. The mechanical movement of the automobile was for Balla an essential element in the representation of speed according to the theoretical concepts of Futurism.

In this painting we can observe the predominant sinusoidal movement of the car wheels in the foreground. This was a recurring characteristic of many of Balla’s 1913 pictures, but the background of this painting is absolutely unique. Only here do we find those barely suggested background arches.

Possibly they are parts of a previously drawn bridge or perhaps traces of antique Roman ruins. In the rest of the picture the decomposition of speed takes place according to a dynamic succession that begins and ends in numerous intersecting lines. Time, another theme dear to the Futurists, is scanned in an acceleration of instants, superimposed through ample triangles both on the surface and in depth.


Works in Italy
Works around the world