Umberto Boccioni: The Street Pavers (1914)

The Street Pavers (1914), by Umberto Boccioni, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Image Source: wikimedia

Boccioni was a member of the Futurists, a group of Italian artists who announced their existence in 1909 with a manifesto published on the front page of the French paper, Le Figaro. The group called for the abandonment of the past in favor of modern life and aimed to represent the metropolis in “multicolored and polyphonic tidal waves of revolution.” Canvases such as The Street Pavers offered Boccioni the opportunity to radically transform a scene of backbreaking work into a celebration of the powerful form of the modern laborer. Through his inventive use of pulsating color and rhythmic brushwork, the artist activated the surface of the canvas, making the faceless workers almost indistinguishable from their urban setting.

Metropolitan Museum of Art,

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Umberto Boccioni at wikiwand

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Paintings by Umberto Boccioni

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. johntodaro says:

    Really like this painting: angular and rich with texture and color harmony. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure, John. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the abstract strip of colored patches across the upper third of the painting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see something different every time I look. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Steve. 🙂


  3. chris ludke says:

    That’s funny. The worker’s head looks like a big black hole and the arm looks like a club. hahahah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see it now…lol. Nothing like a little fresh perspective! 😎

      Liked by 1 person

      1. chris ludke says:

        My teachers at the academy would have blasted this painting straight to hell. They’d have said this artist must be a real elitist to see the workers with empty black holes for heads and clubs instead of arms and hands! But that’s just another interpretation. Everyone has to decide what they see in it, good or bad.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The street laborer appears as one with the pavement. This is so true of those who live on the margins of society. They become invisible to those walking/rushing by on their way to work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rosaliene. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dawnmacroart says:

    Another fantastic post, love discovering new artists from the past.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So do I, Dawn! It is like finding buried treasure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 😎


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