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The Futurist Campaign

IN OCTOBER 1911, THREE AMBITIOUS young Milanese painters—they were, on the average, in their late 20s—made a flying trip to Paris. Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, and Luigi Russolo, in an earlier series of public manifestos and, for want of a stronger word, “theatricals,” extending back almost two years, had clarioned the word “Futurist” as the standard bearer of their new art of violent, ecstatic prophecy. Preparing for their crucial French debut at the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, they were anxious to check their progress against that of the Cubists, of whom they had only garbled reports. It was an opportunity to size up the development of advanced painting in the headquarters of Western art at first hand.

Two other personalities contributed to this reconnaissance: Gino Severini, their Paris-based colleague who first urged the junket and shepherded the painters, and the actual founder of Futurism

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