Carlo Carrà

The Galleria in Milan


Study for The Galleria in Milan


Interventionist Demonstration




The Engineer’s Mistress



Carrà was born in Quargnento (Alessandria) in 1881. At the age of twelve he worked as a mural decorator, and in 1906, he enrolled at the Accademia di Brera in Milan, where he studied under Cesare Tallone. His work of this time revealed the influence of Italian Divisionism, combined with the nineteenth-century Lombard Naturalism. Carrà met Boccioni and Russolo in 1908 with whom he signed the Manifesto of Futurist Painters, and the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting. His radical political and artistic interests were combined in the monumental painting Funeral of the Anarchist Galli, which he reworked after a trip to Paris in the fall of 1911, when he came into direct contact with Cubism. With Ardengo Soffici, he contributed to the Futurist periodical Lacerba.

In 1914, Carrà was back in Paris where he met Apollinaire and Picasso. At that time, he started to work in the medium of collage and words-in-freedom, and endorsed the Italian Interventionist movement in his book Guerrapittura of 1915. By 1916, Carrà had rejected many of the nihilistic premises of Futurism. In essays such as Parlata su Giotto, and Paolo Uccello costruttore, he exalted the art of the Italian Trecento and Quattrocento primitives. In 1917, he met Giorgio de Chirico in Ferrara and adapted his metaphysical iconography and compositional techniques to a series of still lifes and interiors. In 1918, Carrà, de Chirico, and his brother Alberto Savinio joined the magazine Valori Plastici. The following year, he published his book Pittura metafisica, which celebrated the transcendent properties of pure form and commonplace objects.

Carrà theoretical position, grounded in a post-war "return to order," signaled his break with the classicism of de Chirico. After a short-lived phase of Magic Realism, by the mid-twenties, Carrà had evolved his mature style that combined archaizing figures with an atmospheric brushwork, redolent of nineteenth century Impressionist Naturalism. In the 1920s, he participated in the two exhibitions of the Novecento italiano, and signed Mario Sironi's Manifesto of Mural Painting in 1933. In 1941 he was appointed professor of painting at the Accademia di Brera. In 1945 he published his autobiography La mia vita. Carrà died in Milan in 1966.

credits: Hangar Design Group