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To mark the 20th anniversary of the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, we are publishing a catalogue of the exhibition organized at the London foundation in cooperation with Intesa Sanpaolo and the Embassy of Italy in London. The works on exhibit recount the transitional stage of Umberto Boccioni (Reggio Calabria, October 19, 1882 – Verona, August 17, 1916) from the Divisionist to the Futurist period: landcapes but most of all portraits of excellent women who were among the artist’s favourite subjects, and evokes the intimate conversations that undoubtedly took place between them against the developing backdrop of Milan at the turn of the century, reflecting technological advances and the changes they led to. Boccioni moved to Milan in 1907 and at that time he approached the symbolist Divisionism of Giovanni Segantini and Gaetano Previati.
However, after joining the Futurist movement and publishing the Manifesto tecnico della pittura futurista, the language changed, although he would continue to keep the previously used style in close proximity. Emblematic of this period is the oil painting Idolo Moderno, which represents the point of evolution in his career, taking a leap towards a more innovative and complex avant-garde. Other undeniably wondrous canvases and sketches on paper help to convey fully the importance of this stage in the career of one of the undisputed masters of early 20th-century Italian art.