(b Turin, Aug 18, 1871; d Rome, March 1, 1958).
Italian painter, sculptor, stage designer, decorative artist and actor. He was one of the originators of Futurism (see Furttenbach [Furtenbach; Furttembach], Josef [Joseph], the elder) and was particularly concerned with the representation of light and movement. His personal interest in scientific methods of analysis contributed to both the practical and ideological bases of the movement. His oeuvre from the Futurist period overshadowed the work of later years.
Balla was self-taught and began painting in Turin. In 1895 he settled in Rome. At the age of about 25 he painted some lively sketches of urban life that are characterized by a thick impasto, for example the series Machietta romana (1898; Rome, priv. col., see Lista, 1982, nos 12–17) and landscapes showing familiarity with the divisionism practised by the northern Italian artists Giuseppe Pelizza da Volpedo, Giovanni Segantini and Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, for example Luci di marzo (...