Giacomo Balla Swifts: Paths of Movement + Dynamic Sequences 1913

  • Not on view

Transfixed by speed and dynamic motion, Balla learned how to portray movement in his paintings by looking to photography. During prior decades, Étienne-Jules Marey had developed a photographic technique that captured motion through multiple exposures. His photographs of birds in flight directly influenced Balla’s painting, with its curved arcs evoking the rhythmic flapping of wings. Artists and scientists seeking to understand bodily movement would later use Marey’s method to capture humans in motion.

Gallery label from 2022
Oil on canvas
38 1/8 x 47 1/4" (96.8 x 120 cm)
Object number
© 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

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1913 - 1948 (?), Giacomo Balla, Rome.
May 1948, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, purchased through Laurance P. Roberts (Director of the American Academy, Rome) probably from the artist.

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