Gino Severini. Armored Train in Action. 1915
Gino Severini

Armored Train in Action

1915
On view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
45 5/8 x 34 7/8" (115.8 x 88.5 cm)
Credit
Gift of Richard S. Zeisler
Object number
287.1986
Copyright
© 2015 Gino Severini / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Department
Painting and Sculpture

Painted in 1915, the year Italy entered World War I, this work reflects a Futurist declaration of the same year: "War is a motor for art." Although poor health prevented Severini from enlisting in the military, he was obsessed by this first fully mechanized war. Living in Paris, he witnessed the city's bombardment, and from his studio he had an aerial view of the Denfert-Rochereau station and trains transporting soldiers, supplies, and weapons. Here, five faceless figures crouch in a militarized locomotive car, aiming their rifles in unison. Smoke from gun and cannon fire eclipse the natural landscape. Severini celebrated war, which the Futurists believed could generate a new Italian identity—one of military and cultural power.

Gallery label from 2009

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
The artist, Paris. 1915 - 1917
On consignment with Alfred Stieglitz, New York. October 1916 - March 1917
John Quinn (d. 1924). Purchased from Stieglitz, March 1917 - 1924
Estate of John Quinn, 1924 - 1927
Quinn auction, American Art Galleries, New York, February 1927, cat no. 265
Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Liebman, New York . Purchased from Quinn auction, 1927 - still by 1949 [until 1955?]
Auction sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, December 7, 1955
Richard S. Zeisler, New York. Purchased at Parke-Bernet, December 1955 - 1986 (Rose Fried as agent)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Richard S. Zeisler, 1986

If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please e-mail provenance@moma.org or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

Pictured above: Vasily Kandinsky. Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 2 (detail). 1914. Oil on canvas, 64 1/8 x 48 3/8" (162.6 x 122.7 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Fund (by exchange). © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource