Marinetti, Filippo Tommaso

Filippo Marinetti

Filippo Marinetti

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was an important Italian writer and political activist, and he is considered one of the founders of the Futurism Movement.

Born on the 22nd December 1876, Filippo spent his childhood in Alexandria, in Egypt, together with his parents Enrico Marinetti and Amalia Grolli, who were consultants in Law for foreign companies in the country; being part of a wealthy and educated family, the future author always revealed an interest towards the artistic field, especially in literature, and with only 17 years old he founded a literary magazine in high school.

After finishing his high school studies, Marinetti went to Paris, to study at the Sorbonne University, where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree; later, in 1899, he concluded his studies at the University of Pavia with a Law Degree.

However, after finishing his superior education, young Filippo decided that, unlike his parents, he didn’t wish to pursue a career in Law, so he choose to work full-time on his writings, focusing mainly in poetry, even though he also wrote some romances, theatre plays, and even got to work briefly as a journalist.

Although he was a prolific writer, and had a strong political intervention in his home country, Filippo Marinetti his mostly known for being one of the authors of the Manifesto of Futurism. Published on the 20th February 1909 on the cover of one of the most prestigious newspapers in France, Le Figaro, the text is emphasizes the importance of modern art, supports industrialization, continuous progress and encourages the modern society to break with the past and classical currents; besides being innovative, the manifesto was also very provocative, making bold and controversial affirmations, and it had a great impact in the academic community at the time, not only in France but throughout the entire Europe. However, the following works by Marinetti, that can be included in the futuristic genre, were almost unnoticed, and his prose, poetry or theatre plays didn’t gather much success either among the public or specialized critics.

Shortly after, in 1911, Marinetti started working as a journalist full-time, and on the same year he went to Libya, to cover the Italo-Turkish War, and after that he accompanied closely the developments of the First Balkan War. A few years later, with the beginning of World War I, together with a group of other followers of Futurism, was a strong supporter of Italy’s participation in the conflict, and he even joined the army, in order to fulfill what he believed to be his civil duties, having participated in several battles to defend his country.

At the end of World War I, Marinetti met Benedetta Cappa, who was a fellow Futurism supporter herself, and they will end up marrying in 1923 and having three daughters afterwards.

During post-war, Marinetti founded the Futurist Political Party, that soon after merged with the National Fascist Party; the author saw fascism as a cut with tradition and the correct path towards a more developed society, industrialized and overwhelming in its whole, which was his main desire as a futurist, and he even tried to nominate Futurism as the official artistic genre of Italians political regime, albeit without success.

With the intensification of fascist regulations and the approach of the beginning of World War II, Marinetti was forced to moderate his actions towards the support of Futurism, due to his desire and need to act along what was expected from him from the government, and he ended up accepting a job as a teacher in a University, which was clearly against his futurist principles, even though he defended that the only reason he was doing it was to start integrating Futurism as a part of academic studies.

Filippo Marinetti died before the end of World War II, on the 2nd December 1944, due to heart problems. His legacy is clearly controversial, but nevertheless made a strong impression in the history of Modern Art.

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