ART 4 2-DAY 01 March v.10.20
on 01 March 1704: Joseph Parrocel “des Batailles”
ou “le Vieux”, French painter born on 03 October 1646.
— He belonged to one of the most numerous French artistic dynasties, which from the 16th century produced 14 painters over 6 generations. Starting with him, they were most prominent in the late 17th century and the 18th. He and his son Charles Parrocel [06 May 1688 – 24 May 1752] were notable painters of battles and hunts. His nephew Pierre Parrocel [16 Mar 1670 – 26 Aug 1739] was a prolific painter of religious works, as was Pierre's nephew and student Etienne Parrocel “le Romain” [08 Jan 1696 – 13 Jan 1775].
— Joseph Parrocel was taught by his father Barthélemy Parrocel [1595–1660} and then by his brother Louis Parrocel [1634–1694]. He went to Paris for four years to perfect his work and then, about 1667, to Rome, where he became the student of the battle painter Jacques Courtois and was influenced by Salvator Rosa. Parrocel remained in Italy for eight years and stayed for a time in Venice, before returning to settle in Paris in 1675. He was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in February 1676 and received (reçu) as a full member in November 1676, presenting Le Siège de Maastricht.
His painted oeuvre consists principally of military scenes, particularly battles, and he received numerous royal commissions. In the period 1685–1688 he made 11 paintings for the Salle du Grand Couvert at the château of Versailles; in 1699 he painted The Crossing of the Rhine for the château of Marly, Yvelines, and in 1700 he painted The Fair at Bezons, anticipating the fêtes galantes of Antoine Watteau. Parrocel was also the author of a number of hunting scenes. His most important religious paintings were The May of Notre-Dame de Paris (1694), Saint John the Baptist Preaching and Saint Augustin Secourant les Malades (1703). He also contributed battle scenes to the backgrounds of portraits by Hyacinthe Rigaud and by Gabriel Blanchard. His technique was highly original in the context of his time; he employed a very free style of painting and used thick impasto and intense colors. He was also a prolific engraver, producing around 100 plates, among them 25 Mysteries from the Life of Jesus Christ and 40 Miracles from the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Others were for the Missale parisiense of 1685, and some depicted military subjects.
— Joseph Parrocel’s students included his son Charles, his nephew Pierre, another nephew, Ignace-Jacques Parrocel [1667–1722], and the landscape painter François Sylvestre.
–- Passage du Rhin par l'armée de Louis XIV, à Tolhuis (1699, 234x164cm; 1440x1260pix— or .adjust the size to your liking — 186kb either way) _ Peint pour le château de Marly, ce tableau relate l'épisode militaire du 12 juin 1672. Plus pittoresque et plus tumultueuse que
_ Passage du Rhin par l'Armée Française à Lobith de Van der Meulen [1632-1690] sur le même sujet, l'oeuvre est représentative des scènes de bataille de Parrocel influencées par Jacques Courtois et Salvator Rosa.
–- Bataille pour la salle des gardes du roi (1685; 748x936pix, 89kb)
–- Un Jeu de Dés(962x728pix, 62kb)
— The Return from the Hunt (1700, 109x104cm; 846x803pix, 254kb)
— Cavalry Battle (124kb)
–- Scène de bataille avec Louis XIV à cheval (79x114cm; 892x1312pix, 96kb) _ auctioned off at Sotheby's, Paris, on 27 June 2002 for € 14'400
on 01 March 1886: Oskar Kokoschka, Austrian
painter who died on 22 February 1980.
Kokoschka was born at Pöchlarn an der Donau, Lower Austria. His mother came from a family of foresters in Lower Austria. His father came from a celebrated line of goldsmiths in Prague, but when Oskar was born his father worked as a commercial traveler for a jewelry firm. Oskar was the second of four children. A few months after he was born the family moved to Vienna, where he spend the early part of his life. In 1904 Kokoschka was awarded a state scholarship to attend the Kunstgewerbeschule (School of the Arts and Crafts). His intention was to become a art teacher. In 1908 he had his first exhibition or, more truly, he got the chance to show some of his work to the public, because The Klimt group came on a visit to Vienna. In 1909, he had his first exhibition at the "Internationale Kunstschau" and the same year he left the school.
In 1910 Kokoschka went to Berlin for the first time to work with Walden. In 1912 his name became know in the art world around Europe, and he was normally on every important exhibition on the continent. In 1913 he married Alma Mahler [so der Maler married die Mahler] who built a house for him where he could work and where they lived for a year. After Alma had an abortion in 1914 their life together ended.
On 01 August 1914, the First World War broke out. Oskar enlisted in one of the most prestigious regiments in the Austro-Hungarian army, the 15th Imperial-Royal Dragoons. He was send to the Eastern Front, where he got wounded. He was discharged from the army as unfit for active service.
In 1918 Gustav Klimt died. Oskar wrote to his mother: "I cried for poor Klimt, the only Viennese artist who had any talent and character. Now I am his successor, as I once asked of him at the "Kunstschau", and I do not yet feel ready to take charge of that flock of lost sheep."
Three years later he moved to Dresden as a professor at the academy. At this time in Germany there were fights between different political parties. In March 1920, a Rubens painting was damaged in crossfire. Oskar addressed an open letter to the population of Dresden: "I request all those who intend to use firearms in order to promote their political beliefs, …, to be kind enough to hold their military exercises elsewhere than in front of the art gallery in the Zwinger; for instance, on the shooting-ranges on the heath, where human civilization is in no danger… It is certain that in the future the German people will find more happiness and meaning in looking at the paintings that have been saved than in the totality of contemporary German political ideas."
Later the same year he wrote to his family: "Since leaving Vienna I have been in love about nineteen times, all serious, single-minded ladies with plenty of heart…. Then I get love letters regularly, and they are like sunshine when the sun goes in; and so I can paint wonderful colors that glow".
In 1922 he wrote to his father: "I believe, in all seriousness, that I am now the best painter on earth." [which only goes to show that he was not the best art critic]
In 1923 he started the life of a traveling restless soul. He painted as we today use a camera. He traveled around and painted and traveled and painted. Later he moved to Paris and after he broke with his art-dealer he moved to Prague.
During the Second World War, he was banned by the Nazi regime, but after the war he again was represented at every large exhibition. It was also then that he had his first exhibition in the US. Often his works where exhibited were jointly with those of artists such as Klimt or Schiele. Kokoschka was the founder of The Free German League of Culture, set up in London in 1939 just before the second world war started. Oskar died in a hospital in Montreux.
— Bride of the Wind (1914)
— Walliser Landschaft (1947; 600x811pix _ ZOOM to 1400x1893, 439kb)
— Die Jagd (1818; 600x904pix)
— 56 images at Bildindex
on 01 March 1944: Walter Elmer Schofield,
painter born on 09 September 1867.
— Schofield was born in Philadelphia where he attended Swarthmore College and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, before leaving for Paris to study at the Academie Julian. From Paris Schofield headed to England, where he settled in the St. Ives art colony at Cornwall. Schofield is remembered for his Impressionist winter scenes, painted in England and Pennsylvania. His works were richly developed, and often infused with brilliant cobalt blues.
— Schofield was born in Philadelphia to Benjamin Schofield and Mary Wollstonecraft Schofield in 1867; Schofield's father had emigrated from England to the United States about 1840.(1) He attended Swarthmore College around 1885 and then studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts between 1889 and 1892. There, he studied under Thomas Anshuz, who encouraged him to pursue an art education in Europe.(2) This he did, especially at the Academie Julien, Paris, under Bouguereau, Doucet, Ferrier, and Aman-Jean in 1892.(3) He encountered both traditional and innovative studies in these schools. After 1892, Schofield spent most of his time traveling to Europe, especially to Paris; he settled for the first time in Southport, England, with his family in 1901 and later moved to Saint Ives in 1903.(4) As he settled back in England, however, he maintained his US citizenship and, in fact, spent a substantial portion of almost every year in the United States around the Pennsylvanian area in order to produce winter landscape scenes. He then spent the rest of the year with his family, creating his Cornish village paintings.
— Schofield painted landscapes filled with sun and bright colors, but became best known for his snowscapes and rushing streams, with the movement of the water often shown in diagonal lines, using broad fluid strokes.
He was born in Philadelphia to a very creative family. His mother was the grand niece of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of Frankenstein. He attended Swarthmore College and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, studying with Thomas Anshutz from 1889 to 1892. Thinking he needed to supplement his art training, he went to Paris to study for three years, 1892 to 1895, and attended the Academie Julian. However, he soon tired of the strict regimen and chose to paint directly from nature in the Forest of Fontainbleau.
Later he went to England, where he eventually settled in the St. Ives art colony in Cornwall in 1903, along with his English wife, Murielle Redmayne, and children. While living in various cities in England -- Yorkshire, Southport, Bedfors, and while attending the Academy, Schofield met US expatriate artists including Robert Henri, Edward Redfield, John Sloan, William Glackens, and Everett Shinn, members of "The Eight".
Rebelling against the rigidity of the National Academy, "The Eight" were a group of painters whose historic exhibition was held at the Macbeth Galleries in New York in February 1908. Not all of "The Eight" painted in a similar mode, but they were generally interested in urban realism as well as Impressionism.
Although he became an expatriate, Schofield was recognized as part of the Pennsylvania Impressionist tradition. After about 1903, his Impressionist style often incorporated cobalt blues, and prevailed throughout the rest of his career. He continued to exhibit in the United States and to belong to US art organizations. In the 1930s, he traveled in the US West, painting in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.
From an early age, Schofield was familiar with Bucks County, north of Philadelphia, especially when visiting friends such as Edward Redfield. As a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, he painted several geographic areas. In 1904, his Center Bridge, Across the River, earned him a Carnegie Institute medal. His friendship with Redfield ended in rivalry, however, as Redfield claimed the composition was initially his own concept, that Schofield stole it, and warned him to vacate the area. Schofield agreed, but Redfields influence to his painting style would continue.
Perhaps influenced by his affinity for the rugged outdoors and winters bitter elements, Schofield favored snow scenes, as seen in Bucks County and other venues of the Delaware River Valley. Marine vistas, often painted in Cornwall, England, were done in bold colors with thick, heavy brushstrokes.
–– Cornish Inn (1936, 76x91cm; 650x782pix, 91kb)
–– Cornwall (1930; 505x594pix, 50kb)
— Street in Normandy (980x1100pix, 137kb)
— Godolphin House (890x1100pix, 148kb)
— Outer Harbor Polperro (1913; 876x1100pix, 110kb)
— Mclegrenow Farm (1925; 886x1100pix, 103kb)
–– Boat House on a Canal (795x1000pix, 82kb)
— Summer Morning (1016x1200pix, 211kb)
–– January Morning (1941; 768x900pix, 98kb)
–– Pennsylvania Barn in the Snow (830x1000pix, 86kb)
–– Seascape (836x1000pix, 83kb)
–– Boat House on a Canal (795x1000pix, 82kb)
–– A Cornish Village (797x1000pix, 75kb)
–– The Winter Woods (762x900pix, 71kb)
–– Hill Country (750x900pix, 63kb)
–– Frosty Morning (900x756pix, 51kb)
on 01 March 1494: Francesco Ubertini Verdi “Bacchiaca”,
Florentine painter and draftsman who died on 05 October 1557.
— He belonged to the generation of Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino, but, with a conservative disposition and limited talents, he never regarded style as a vehicle for creative expression as much as they did. His contribution to the evolution of Mannerism is, nevertheless, the central issue for critics of his work. Although he studied with Perugino and was heavily influenced by him, he did not demonstrate an exclusive allegiance to any one style even in his earliest works. In Adam and Eve with their Children (1517), for example, the figures of the parents are borrowed from Perugino’s Apollo and Marsyas, but the landscape comes from the engraving Adam and Eve (1504) of Albrecht Dürer, and the children are taken from God Appearing to Noah, engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi. The curious transformation of Perugino’s Apollo into Eve is telling evidence of Bacchiacca’s unfamiliarity with the nude, a shortcoming he never overcame. Throughout his career, he effected a compromise between conservative and progressive elements. His reference to a northern print in Adam and Eve suggests an acquaintance with advanced practices then current in Florence. Perhaps the most lasting legacy of his training by Perugino [1450-1523] was the habit of relating form and content only superficially. While other artists of his generation employed a variety of sources to achieve a creative synthesis, Bacchiacca’s eclecticism remained merely a pragmatic solution to the problem of providing a wide variety of characters for his scenes.
— Deposition of Christ from the Cross (1518, 93x71cm; 1017x770pix, 131kb) _ This work, however youthful, shows the interest which Bacchiaca had for the painting of landscape. The whole composition - besides being balanced and almost symmetrically divided by the ladders, the crosses and the group of figures - is in fact set in a rural landscape which serves not only as a background to the scene, but is the natural continuation and development of the grassy terrain in the foreground.
— Mary with Child Jesus, Saint Elisabeth, and the Child Saint John the Baptist (1536, 60x50cm, 867x722pix, 150kb) _ The painting is based on an engraving by the Bolognese Marcantonio Raimondi, which is based on the Madonna del divino amore painted in Raphael's workshop probably by Giovanni Francesco Penni.
— The Preaching of Saint John the Baptist (1520, 68x92cm; 686x940pix, 137kb) _ detail (900x718pix, 138kb) _ This painting (restored in 1960) of the eclectic artist shows the strong influence of Perugino.
— The Flagellation of Christ (1515; 933x800pix, 103kb)
— The Baptism of Christ (1523; 600x1244pix)
— The Beheading of John the Baptist (1539; 600x528pix)
— A Lady (1530)
Died on 01 March 1958: Giacomo Balla, Italian
painter, sculptor, stage designer, decorative artist, and actor, born on
18 July 1871.
— He was one of the originators of Futurism and was particularly concerned with the representation of light and movement. His personal interest in scientific methods of analysis contributed to both the practical and ideological bases of the movement. His oeuvre from the Futurist period overshadowed the work of later years.
— Born in Turin in 1871, Balla moved to Rome when he was still young and died there. He joined the Futurist movement in 1910, when he signed both the Manifesto of Futurist Painters and the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting. Balla's first works are characteristic of the Divisionism of Pelliza da Volpedo and Giovanni Segantini as well as French Post-Impressionism, an interest he delved into during a stay in Paris in 1900. In 1912 Balla's art took on decisively futuristic characteristics with his celebrated painting Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash, an early affirmation of his way of objectively analyzing details, something that he had surely carried over from his strong interest in photography
Balla was one of the founders of Futurism, signing the Futurist Manifesto which was published in 1910. In this document Balla, along with artists including Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carrà, outlined their primary objective to depict movement, which they saw as symbolic of their commitment to the dynamic forward thrust of the twentieth century. Futurism celebrated the machine - the racing car was heralded as the triumph of the age - and early futurist paintings were concerned with capturing figures and objects in motion. In his Girl Running on the Balcony, Balla attempted to realize movement by showing the girl's running legs in repeated sequence. Other paintings, such as Dog on a Leash, got to grips with the problem of recreating speed and flight by superimposing several images on top of each other. Inevitably, the advances that were made by this short-lived movement were eventually to be overtaken by the art of cinematography. Futurism was finished by the First World War, after which Futurist ideals became increasingly associated with Fascism. Balla began to plough an independent path, at first toward abstraction and, after 1931, toward figuration.
— Balla's students included Umberto Boccioni, Enrico Prampolini, Gino Severini, Mario Sironi.
Nato a Torino, Balla si trasferisce in gioventù a Roma dove morirà nel 1958. Aderisce al Futurismo nel 1910, quando sottoscrive il Manifesto dei pittori futuristi (11 Feb 1910) e il Manifesto tecnico della pittura futurista. (11 Apr 1910). Gli esordi di Balla sono caratterizzati da una pittura influenzata dal divisionismo di Pellizza da Volpedo e Giovanni Segantini e dal postimpressionismo francese, interesse approfondito dall'artista durante un soggiorno a Parigi nel 1900.
È nel 1912 con opere come il celebre Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio, che l'arte di Balla si delinea con caratteristiche decisamente futuriste, già affermando la sua peculiare attenzione all'analisi oggettiva del particolare, sicuramente legata al forte interesse dell'artista per la fotografia.
L'idea del moto e il senso moderno della velocità, centrali nella poetica del Futurismo, sono resi da Balla mediante un linguaggio di dettagli ripetuti e dissociazioni cromatiche. Successivamente, la sua pittura si fa più astratta, per costruirsi su una rete di "linee andamentali", traiettorie che tracciano il movimento di corpi nello spazio a partire da un punto di vista mobile. Con le Compenetrazioni iridescenti, dipinte tra la fine del 1912 e il 1914, l'artista realizza una serie di composizioni liricamente astratte, scandite da forme triangolari pure e armonie di colori che aspirano ad un'idea di totalità.
Nel 1916 firma insieme a Depero il manifesto Ricostruzione futurista dell'universo che delinea un programma di ricreazione del reale attraverso gli equivalenti astratti di tutte le forme pensati come complessi plastici mobili. In questo ambito si collocano l'ideazione e la creazione di congegni meccanici, musicali e rumoristici e poi di giocattoli, vestiti, concerti, edifici, secondo una logica che ispira anche la creazione di mobili ed interi arredamenti.
A partire dagli anni Venti Balla si indirizza nuovamente verso una pittura figurativa, che conserva sfondi con motivi astratti di impianto dinamico, per affrancarsi definitivamente dal Futurismo intorno alla metà degli anni Trenta, con una serie di opere caratterizzate da una intensa ricerca luminosa ai limiti del misticismo.
— Balla was born in Turin. In 1891 he studied briefly at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti and the Liceo Artistico in Turin and exhibited for the first time under the aegis of the Società Promotrice di Belle Arti in that city. He studied at the University of Turin with Cesare Lombroso about 1892. In 1895 Balla moved to Rome, where he worked for several years as an illustrator, caricaturist, and portrait painter. In 1899 his work was included in the Venice Biennale and in the Esposizione internazionale di belle arti at the galleries of the Società degli Amatori e Cultori di Belle Arti in Rome, where he exhibited regularly for the next ten years. In 1900 Balla spent seven months in Paris assisting the illustrator Serafino Macchiati. About 1903 he began to instruct Gino Severini and Umberto Boccioni in divisionist painting techniques. In 1903 his work was exhibited at the Esposizione internazionale d’arte della città di Venezia and in 1903 and 1904 at the Glaspalast in Munich. In 1904 Balla was represented in the Internationale Kunstausstellung in Düsseldorf, and in 1909 exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris.
Balla signed the second Futurist painting manifesto of 1910 with Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, and Severini, although he did not exhibit with the group until 1913. In 1912 he traveled to London and to Düsseldorf, where he began painting his abstract light studies. In 1913 Balla participated in the Erste deutsche Herbstsalon at Der Sturm gallery in Berlin and in an exhibition at the Rotterdamsche Kunstkring in Rotterdam. In 1914 he experimented with sculpture for the first time and showed it in the Prima esposizione libera futurista at the Galleria Sprovieri, Rome. He also designed and painted Futurist furniture and designed Futurist “antineutral” clothing. With Fortunato Depero, Balla wrote the manifesto Ricostruzione futurista dell’universo in 1915. His first solo exhibitions were held that same year at the Società Italiana Lampade Elettriche “Z” and at the Sala d’Arte A. Angelelli in Rome. His work was also shown in 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. In 1918 he was given a solo show at the Casa d’Arte Bragaglia in Rome. Balla continued to exhibit in Europe and the United States and in 1935 was made a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. He died in Rome.
— Nel 1895 si stabilisce insieme alla madre a Roma. Nel 1899 partecipa per la prima volta all'Esposizione annuale della Società degli Amatori e Cultori, manifestazione artistica alla quale sarà presente, costantemente, fino al 1914 ed alle edizioni del 1928 e del 1929. Nel settembre del 1900 parte per Parigi, dove visita l'Esposizione Universale, nella quale ha modo di vedere, oltre ai quadri dei divisionisti italiani, le opere dei pittori dell'Impressionismo e neoimpressionismo francesi, quelle della Secessione austriaca, e gli studi fotografici sul movimento di Etienne-Jules Marey. Durante il soggiorno parigino rimane colpito dagli effetti della luce notturna e dell'illuminazione artificiale delle strade, come dimostrano i numerosi quadri, realizzati tra il 1900 e il 1902, in cui rappresenta la città di notte.
Nel 1903 viene ammesso, per la prima volta, alla Biennale d'Arte Internazionale di Venezia con il Ritratto di Roesler-Franz. In questi anni indirizza il proprio interesse nei confronti delle tematiche del verismo sociale e realizza le quattro grandi tele del ciclo, mai portate a termine, Dei Viventi. Nel primo decennio del '900 affianca a tele dipinte con la tecnica divisionista della scomposizione del colore, una serie di quadri monocromi, raffiguranti scene notturne ed interni, tra cui Il dubbio (1908, 57x40cm). A partire dal 1906 si interessa, soprattutto, allo studio di problemi luministici. L'11 febbraio del 1910 sottoscrive Il Manifesto dei Pittori Futuristi e, nell'aprile dello stesso anno il Manifesto tecnico della Pittura Futurista; tuttavia, almeno fino al 1912, non vi è sentore, nelle sue opere, della partecipazione al movimento di Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.
Nel 1911 fa parte del comitato organizzatore dell'Esposizione Internazionale di Roma alla quale partecipa anche in veste di espositore con Il Ritratto di Nathan (1910, 86x95cm). Espone alcune tele alla Mostra Futurista allestita nel Foyer del Teatro Costanzi di Roma, dove figuravano anche opere di Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Gino Severini e Ardengo Soffici. In queste tele Balla analizza il movimento di un corpo vivente, rappresentando la sequenza degli spostamenti della figura nello spazio.
Nel 1914 invia ventisette opere alla LXXXIII Esposizione di Belle Arti della Società degli Amatori e Cultori, suscitando la perplessità della critica, che lo trova eclettico. Nel 1915 firma con Fortunato Depero il Manifesto della Ricostruzione Futurista dell'Universo. Realizza anche alcune scenografie. Dal 1921 al 1928 si dedica all'esecuzione di opere decorative e alla progettazione di oggetti di arte applicata, mobili, paraventi, piatti, ceramiche e stoffe. Nel 1929 firma il Manifesto Aeropittura. Dal 1931 prende le distanze dal Futurismo e la sua produzione successiva testimonia un ritorno alla pittura figurativa.
–– Il Sole e Mercurio
–– Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio (1912, 90x110cm)
The Flight of the Swallows (1913)
Young Girl Running on a Balcony
— Lampada - Studio di Luce (1909, 175x115pix; 768x496pix, 137kb _ ZOOM to 1858x1208pix, 1127kb)
— Velocità astratta + rumore (1914, 55x77cm including artist’s painted frame; 395x573 pix, 92kb) _ In late 1912 to early 1913 Giacomo Balla turned from a depiction of the splintering of light to the exploration of movement and, more specifically, the speed of racing automobiles. This led to an important series of studies in 1913–1914. The choice of automobile as symbol of abstract speed recalls Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s notorious statement in his first Futurist manifesto, published on 20 February 1909, in Le Figaro in Paris, only a decade after the first Italian car was manufactured: “The world’s splendor has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed. . . . A roaring automobile . . . that seems to run on shrapnel, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace.”
It has been proposed that Abstract Speed + Sound was the central section of a narrative triptych suggesting the alteration of landscape by the passage of a car through the atmosphere. The related Velocità astratta (1913; 418x640pix, 56kb) and Velocità astratta - l'auto è passata (1913; 396x512pix, 19kb) would have been the flanking panels. Indications of sky and a single landscape are present in the three paintings; the interpretation of fragmented evocations of the car’s speed varies from panel to panel. The present work is distinguished by crisscross motifs, representing sound, and a multiplication of the number of lines and planes. The original frames of all three panels were painted with continuations of the forms and colors of the compositions, implying the overflow of the paintings’ reality into the spectator’s own space. Many other studies and variations by Balla on the theme of a moving automobile in the same landscape exist.
Feu d'Artifice (telai, acrilico su tela, plexiglas, lampade colorate, sonoro, 500x550x550cm) _ Gli elementi che compongono la scena di Feu d'artifice sono stati ricostruiti al Castello di Rivoli in occasione della mostra Sipario del 1997, dedicata allo stretto rapporto tra teatro e arti visive. Feu d'artifice, unico spettacolo realizzato, tra quelli progettati da Balla, andò in scena al Teatro Costanzi a Roma il 30 aprile 1917. Sulle note di Stravinsky per tre minuti Balla presentò il suo teatro del futuro, in linea con quanto proclamato nel 1915 da Filippo Tommaso Marinetti che promuoveva un teatro "Atecnico, Dinamico, Simultaneo", cioè brevissimo e capace in pochi minuti di condensare molteplici situazioni e idee (manifesto Il Teatro Futurista Sintetico, 11 gennaio 1915). Balla concepì Feu d'artifice come una serie di forme dall'architettura non-logica e dinamica destinate ad interagire con un gioco di luci in rapporto con gli accordi musicali. Al Museo della Scala di Milano sono conservati oltre venti fogli che recano i progetti per ciascun elemento dello scenario. Balla realizzò anche un autoritratto (perduto) nel cui sfondo erano riportate alcune delle forme di Feu d'artifice.
Ritratto del sindaco Onorato Caetani (75x62cm) _ Firmato in alto a destra: Balla. Il dipinto, quasi sconosciuto agli studiosi di Balla, è stato segnalato soltanto in due occasioni: nella scheda comparsa negli Archivi del Divisionismo e nella monografia di Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco, che menziona il ritratto del duca Caetani, sindaco di Roma tra il 1890 e il 1892, senza riprodurlo e ne segnala anche l'abbozzo, dipinto su tela, nella collezione Balla. Il modo di segnare il fondo del dipinto, con tratti non omogenei, e l'impostazione della figura, che sembra esorbitare dai margini del quadro, avvicina l'opera ai ritratti della signora Ida Maini e di Bice Morselli, datati entrambi 1910, nella fase che precede di qualche anno il periodo futurista dell'artista.