This is an early published English translation of the first Futurist manifesto. It was published in the catalogue for the Exhibition of Works by the Italian Futurist Painters, an exhibition of over 40 paintings held at the Sackville Gallery, London, in March 1912.
Futurism was an Italian art movement founded by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Flourishing in the early 20th century, Futurism called on artists to reject the past and to celebrate the energy and dynamism of the modern, mechanical world. Marinetti’s first Manifesto of Futurism was published in Italy in June 1909. Many avant garde art movements from this period produced manifestos – public declarations of shared aims and principles that were typically innovative and radical in nature.
Futurism set out to make Italy modern by attacking its traditions; to 'free Italy from her innumerable museums, which cover her like countless cemeteries'. A new beauty, which would replace traditional beauty, was found in the artefacts of modern industry and technology. Futurist imagery celebrated the power, force and speed of the machine. Futurists glorified war because they saw potential for freedom in its power to destroy. They admired the militarism, modernity and patriotism of Italian fascism which, according to Marinetti, was the natural extension of Futurism.