Gino Severini Armored Train in Action 1915

  • Not on view

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.
Oil on canvas
45 5/8 x 34 7/8" (115.8 x 88.5 cm)
Gift of Richard S. Zeisler
Object number
© 2024 Gino Severini / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

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

Provenance research is a work in progress, and is frequently updated with new information. If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please email [email protected] or write to:

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


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].