Is this an abstract drawing? ‘Auto in corsa (study). Velocità astratta’ certainly appears to be a non-figurative study, and yet is actually a drawing of a moving car by the Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla. The Futurists strove to capture the dynamism of the modern world. A close look at this drawing shows that the circular movement to the left visualizes the vehicle’s forward thrust. The driver is depicted seated high in the center and is drawn twice, evoking the suggestion of motion. For years, Balla studied movement, seeking evidence for speed in the world around him by observing traffic speeding through the city streets. He captured the vibrant energy of the street in a drawing that, although it is static, nonetheless conveys a sense of speed.
c/o Pictoright Amsterdam/Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


Translated title

Speeding Car (Study). Abstract Speed



Production date



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gouache and water colour on paper, mounted on canvas

Object number

A 3398