Dimostrazione interventista. 1915. Original drawing.

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Acciaio [Ennio Valentinelli ] Dimostrazione interventista. 1915. Black ink on laid paper pasted onto thicker paper. Signed “ Acciaio” in the lower right corner. 22,5 x 31,2 cm. The title of this piece,  Dimostrazione interventista  [ Interventionist Manifestation ], refers to the interventionist or pro-war stance promoted by the Futurist movement, in contrast to the neutral position favoured by the government and most Italians. For the Futurists - with a manifesto that stated as far back as 1909: “We want to glorify war - the only true form of hygiene for the world - militarism, patriotism” (point 9) - war is an act of evolution, of life, and therefore of motion. To them, battles, explosions and gunfights are intellectually stimulating experiences. During the years leading up to the First World War, the many Futurist publications in print were instrumental in interventionist propaganda. In 1914, Marinetti, Carrà and Boccioni published their Sintesi Futuriste della guerra , very closely related to this 1915 drawing by Acciaio in terms of design. Its title was perhaps inspired by Carlo Carrà's 1914 painting entitled Manifestazione Interventista .   Applying the aesthetics of words-in-freedom, the young Ennio Valentinelli describes the agitation of the demonstrations in favour of the war, with a composition that includes the words “ Folla” (crowd), “ Fanale” (lighthouse), “ agitazione” (agitation), “ tirare (con forza)” (to pull forcefully) and several sentences. The piece was not published at the time, but would go on to be displayed as part of the 1919 Grande Esposizione Nazionale del Futurismo , along with eight others, with this one seemingly the only surviving one (see Daly, n. 1; it should be noted that a second drawing made in 1915 also bore the title Dimostrazione interventista , reproduced by Cl. Salaris, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti , Firenze, La Nuova Italia Editrice, 1988, p. 156, No 233). Valentinelli was amongst the Futurists most committed to military interventionism. When war broke out, he was in Roveto, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He fled the city and headed for Milan, where he enlisted as a volunteer soldier in June 1915 to defend Italy, which had officially entered the war on 24 May 1915. During the conflict, in 1916, he published three words-in-freedom, in Vela Latina and in L'Italia Futurista . At the time he signed “Acciaio Futurista al Fronte”, “Artiglieria in azione” or “Acciaio. Valentinelli, Futurista ora alpino al fronte”. Following the war, his sole Futurist activity was to participate in the Grande Esposizione Nazionale del Futurismo of 1919. He then returned to Trentino where he relinquished all involvement in Futurism. A certificate issued by Luce Marinetti will be presented to the buyer. _____________________________________________________________ Acciaio [Ennio Valentinelli ] Dimostrazione interventista. 1915. Encre noire sur papier vergé contrecollé sur papier plus épais. Signé " Acciaio " en bas à droite. 22,5 x 31,2 cm. Le titre de l’œuvre, Dimostrazione interventista [ Manifestation interventionniste ], se réfère à l’interventionnisme ou l’engagement en faveur de la guerre promu par les futuristes, en opposition à la position de neutralité défendue par le pouvoir en place et la majorité des Italiens. Pour les futuristes, dont le manifeste de 1909 affirmait déjà : "Nous voulons glorifier la guerre — seule hygiène du monde —, le militarisme, le patriotisme" (point 9), la guerre représente un acte d’évolution, de vie, donc de mouvement. Les batailles, explosions et fusillades sont à leurs yeux des expériences intellectuellement stimulantes. Durant les années qui précèdent le premier conflit mondial, les différentes publications futuristes eurent un grand rôle dans la propagande interventionniste. En 1914, Marinetti, Carrà et Boccioni publient leur Sintesi futuriste della guerra , graphiquement très proche de ce dessin d’Acciaio de 1915, dont le titre s’inspire peut-être du tableau Manifestazione Interventista de Carlo Carrà en 1914. Dans une esthétique de mots en liberté, le jeune Ennio Valentinelli décrit l’agitation des manifestations en faveur de la guerre, avec une composition où l’on lit les mots " Folla " (foule), " Fanale " (phare), " agitazione " (agitation), " tirare (con forza) " (tirer, fort) et plusieurs phrases. L’œuvre ne fut pas publiée à l’époque, mais fera partie de la Grande Esposizione Nazionale del Futurismo de 1919, avec huit autres œuvres, dont celle-ci semble être l’une des uniques survivantes (voir Daly, n. 1 ; notons qu’un second dessin de 1915 portait aussi le titre Dimostrazione interventista , reproduit par Cl. Salaris, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti , Firenze, La Nuova Italia Editrice, 1988, p. 156, n° 233).   Valentinelli fut l’un des futuristes les plus engagés en faveur de l’interventionnisme militaire. Lorsque la guerre éclate, il est à Roveto, à l’époque faisant partie de l’empire austro-hongrois : il s’en échappe alors, pour rejoindre Milan, s’engager comme soldat volontaire en juin 1915 et défendre l’Italie, officiellement entrée en guerre le 24 mai 1915. Durant le conflit, en 1916, il publie trois mots en liberté, dans Vela latina et dans L’Italia futurista. Il signe alors "Acciaio Futurista al Fronte", "Artiglieria in azione" ou "Acciaio. Valentinelli, futurista ora alpino al fronte". Une fois la guerre finie, son activité futuriste se limite à participer à la Grande Esposizione Nazionale del Futurismo de 1919, avant de retourner dans le Trentin où il abandonne tout engagement futuriste. Un certificat de Luce Marinetti sera remis à l’acquéreur.