Umberto Boccioni / Antigraceful / 1913, cast 1950-51Umberto Boccioni
1913, cast 1950-51

View Larger Image

View Full Catalog Record Below

This image is one of over 108,000 from the AMICA Library (formerly The Art Museum Image Consortium Library- The AMICO Library™), a growing online collection of high-quality, digital art images from over 20 museums around the world. offers subscriptions to this collection, the finest art image database available on the internet. EVERY image has full curatorial text and can be studied in depth by zooming into the smallest details from within the Image Workspace.
Preview the AMICA Library™ Public Collection in Luna Browser Now

  • Cultures and time periods represented range from contemporary art, to ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian works.
  • Types of works include paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, costumes, jewelry, furniture, prints, photographs, textiles, decorative art, books and manuscripts.

Gain access to this incredible resource through either a monthly or a yearly subscription and search the entire collection from your desktop, compare multiple images side by side and zoom into the minute details of the images. Visit for more information on the collection, click on the link below the revolving thumbnail to the right, or email us at .

Creator Name: Boccioni, Umberto
Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Italian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: Italian, 1882-1916
Creator Name-CRT: Umberto Boccioni
Title: Antigraceful
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1913
Creation End Date: 1913
Creation Date: 1913, cast 1950-51
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: H. 23, W. 20-1/2, D. 20 in. (58.4 x 52.1 x 50.8 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1990.38.1
Credit Line: Bequest of Lydia Winston Malbin, 1989

One of Umberto Boccioni's favored subjects was his mother, Cecilia Forlani Boccioni. From photographs and from Boccioni's own renderings of 1906 to 1915, she appears to have been a large matronly woman with a broad round face, thick knobby fingers, and elegantly upswept gray hair. Boccioni featured her in at least forty-five paintings, drawings, etchings, and sculptures, often producing a series of studies based on a single pose.

The title of his sculpture, 'Antigraceful,' refers to Boccioni's rejection of traditional artistic values. As he wrote in his book 'Pittura, scultura futuriste' (1914): 'We must smash, demolish, and destroy our traditional harmony, which makes us fall into a gracefulness created by timid and sentimental cubs. We disown the past because we want to forget, and in art to forget means to be renewed.' Using Cubist distortions and fragmentation, Boccioni attempted to undermine the accepted concepts of proportion, harmony, and beauty. He also attached elements from the surrounding environment to this portrait (such as the building rising from the mother's head) in a Futurist union of figure and space.

Boccioni began working in three dimensions in Paris about March 1912, when he wrote to a friend: 'These days I am obsessed by sculpture! I believe I have glimpsed a complete renovation of that mummified art.' A month later, in Milan, he published the 'Technical Manifesto of Sculpture,' and by June 1913 he had produced a significant body of eleven plaster sculptures that were exhibited at Galerie La Bo√ętie in Paris. Included in that exhibition was 'Antigraceful,' which may have been influenced by Pablo Picasso's bronze 'Head of a Woman' of 1909. Guillaume Apollinaire, an admirer of Boccioni's sculpture, admonished him to have his plasters cast in bronze.

AMICA ID: MMA_.1990.38.1
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

AMICA PUBLIC RIGHTS: a) Access to the materials is granted for personal and non-commercial use. b) A full educational license for non-commercial use is available from Cartography Associates at c) Licensed users may continue their examination of additional materials provided by Cartography Associates, and d) commercial rights are available from the rights holder.

Home | Subscribe | Preview | Benefits | About | Help | Contact
Copyright © 2007 Cartography Associates.
All rights reserved.