Bambina x balcone (Girl Running on the Balcony)

Giacomo Balla1912

Galleria d'Arte Moderna - Milano

Galleria d'Arte Moderna - Milano
Milan, Italy

"Bambina × balcone," along with "Guinzaglio in moto-Dinamismo di un cane al guinzaglio" (Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash) and "I ritmi dell’archetto" (The Hand of the Violinist) forms part of a trilogy of works that, during the course of 1912, marked Giacomo Balla's turn towards futurism.
The painting, which depicts his eldest daughter, Luce, as she runs along the balcony of the Balla home, went through a long elaborative process starting from the summer of 1912. This is evidenced by the light dress worn by the child and the myriad studies left behind by the artist. This continued until the end of that year or the beginning of the next, 1913, when it was presented for the first time at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. The research carried out over these months focused on the study of movement, in particular "organic motion," that is, the rendering of a bodily movement, a particular movement that involved the reaction and contraction of the muscles involved.
"Bambina × balcone" was painted on a recycled canvas, the other side of which bears a rural landscape dating from 1896 or 1897. It is clear that Balla was aware of Étienne-Jules Marey's and Eadweard Muybridge's use of chronophotography, and the experimentation of Anton Giulio Bragaglia: the feeling of movement is captured through the child's sequential steps, thanks to the repetition of the figure from left to right and the interpenetration of the railing—the only environmental element—within the figure. The indented brush strokes allow the artist to move beyond the contour lines, so that the rendering of the figure is only finished when the different colors come together.


  • Title: Bambina x balcone (Girl Running on the Balcony)
  • Creator: Giacomo Balla
  • Date: 1912
  • Physical Location: Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Milano
  • gift: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: w125 x h125 cm
  • Provenance: Donated by Nedda Mieli Grassi
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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