The Italian painter, sculptor, graphic artist, draughtsman and art theorist Umberto Boccioni was born on 19th October 1882 in Reggio di Calabria. He was the leading exponent of Italian Futurism. In 1898, he began his studies in Rome, where he made important contact with Gino Severini (1883 – 1966), Duilio Cambelotti (1876 – 1960) and Giacomo Balla (1871 – 1958). Together with Severini, he made verduta and foreshortened compositions of Roman monuments.
Giacomo Balla introduced Umberto Boccioni to the principles of divisionist painting. In 1905, the artist took part in an exhibition of "rejected" artists in the Teatro Naz. In 1906, he made his first trip to Paris, where he studied the work of the Impressionists and Cezanne. He then travelled to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Caricyn, and later to Milan and Padua. In 1907, he studied at the ABA in Venice, and then settled in Milan with his mother and sister.
His association with Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876 – 1944), the founder of Futurism, was of particular significance. In 1910, he created the "Manifesto dei pittori futuristi" with Marinetti, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo (1885 – 1947), Gino Severini, and Giacomo Balla. They also signed the "Manifesto tecnico della pittura futuristica". In 1911, Boccioni composed the "Manifesto tecnico della scultura futuristica". These manifestos were intended to make the readers reject established traditions and obsolete norms, and devote themselves to the future and modern technology. In 1914, Umberto Boccioni signed the "Sintesi futurista della guerre" alongside Marinetti, Carrà, Piatti and Russolo. The artists took part in pro-war demonstrations and signed another manifesto in favour of war.
In 1916, Boccioni was called up to serve in an artillery regiment, and died in Verona on 17th August 1916, from injuries sustained in a riding accident.