Abstract Speed + Sound

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Abstract Speed + Sound
Italian: Velocità astratta + rumore[1]
Abstract Speed + Sound (1913–14) by Giacomo Balla
ArtistGiacomo Balla
Year1913–14 (1913–14)
Typeoil paint on millboard
Dimensions54.5 cm × 76.5 cm (21.5 in × 30.1 in)[1]
LocationPeggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy[2]

Abstract Speed + Sound (Italian: Velocità astratta + rumore) is a painting by Italian Futurist painter Giacomo Balla, one of several studies of motion created by the artist in 1913–14. Balla chose the automobile as a symbol of speed, reflecting the statement of Futurist founder Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's 1909 first manifesto: "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." The painting evokes the sensation of the passing of an automobile, with crisscrossing lines representing sound.[1][3]

The painting may be the second in a triptych narrating the passage of a racing car through a landscape, beginning with Abstract Speed (Velocità + paesaggio) (1913) and ending with Abstract Speed—The Car Has Passed (1913). The three paintings share indications of a single landscape, and each painting is continued onto its frame.[1]

The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses an apparent study for the painting, a 23.5 cm × 33 cm (9.3 in × 13.0 in) work in watercolor and graphite.[4]

The painting is said to have captured the ideals of Italian Futurism.[5] It was featured on the 1980 British television series 100 Great Paintings, which presented five paintings from each of 20 thematic groups.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Giacomo Balla: Abstract Speed + Sound (Velocità astratta + rumore)". Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Abstract Speed + Sound". WikiArt. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  3. ^ Day, Gail (1999). "The Futurists: transcontinental avant-gardism". In Wood, Paul. The Challenge of the Avant-garde. Yale University Press. pp. 217–218. ISBN 0-300-07761-0.
  4. ^ "Velocità astratta + rumore (Abstract Speed + Noise)". Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  5. ^ Carr, Maureen A. (2014). After the Rite: Stravinsky's Path to Neoclassicism (1914-1925). Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780199742936. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Top 100 Masterpieces". Toperfect. Retrieved 20 July 2016.