Severini was born in Cortona on 7 April 1883. In 1899 the
Italian painter, graphic artist and sculptor went to Rome in
1899 to attend evening classes at the Villa Medici. After a
decisive encounter with Giacomo Balla and Umberto Boccioni he
began working as an artist in 1901. Balla introduced him to the
divisionistic colour technique of the Neo-Impressionists. Gino
Severini moved to Paris in 1906 where he studied the
Impressionists, was fascinated with Seurat's paintings and met
Signac. Beside Modigliani, Picasso, Braque and Gris he further
encountered various well-known poets and thinkers of his time.
Marinetti and Boccioni invited him to join the Futurist-movement.
On 11 February 1910 Severini signed the 'Manifesto of Futurist
Painting' and thus became a co-founder of this style. In
contrast to his artist colleagues, Severini was barely
interested in the dynamic of machines, but in the depiction of
human bodies in motion. His cabaret scenes and depictions of
dancers were made during his period. Works like 'Blue Dancer'
(1912) show the typical Futurist principles of faceting and
simultaneous effects. Severini exhibited works in 1912 at the
Futurist exhibitions in Paris, London and Berlin and developed
relationships between Italy and France. The artist's work became
Cubist after 1915. From now on the artist increasingly focused
on the harmony of geometric constructions like the golden
section. His favourite subjects were the still lifes with
musical instruments and scenes from the Commedia dell' Arte.
Between 1924 and 1935 Severini was commissioned with numerous
murals and mosaics.
He led an exciting life between Rome and Paris and published
theoretical texts and books on art. Severini was awarded the
Grand Prize of the Biennale in Venice in 1950. The divisionist
concept of the picture, together with a Cubist-Futurist style,
which was adopted by Balla, is typical of Severini's entire
oeuvre. He analysed light, movement and events, which happened
after one another but are linked by memory. Gino Severini died
in Paris on 26 February 1966. Important works by the artist are
today exhibited in Milan (Collection Gianni Mattioli) and
Rotterdam (Museum Boymans-van-Beuningen).