Forty years following the official Italian unification, the Italian Futurists railed against the fixed traditional notions of Great Art in the name of creative originality in the wake of the inevitable march of Science in the modern era. In the view of the Futurist’s, the Italian Renaissance’s reliance upon the Catholic Church’s dogma encouraged a form of art that was void of any true legitimacy in their contemporary condition. Their fight was to position themselves at the vanguard of a cultural resurgence aimed at displacing the ‘fanatical, senseless and snobbish religion of the past.
’Throughout Italy’s major artistic centers: Rome, Florence, Milan, Turin, and Venice, art had been subjected to the rule of tradition. The prevalent return to Roman classicism, government sponsored art, and the ‘vicious existence of museums’ created a vacuum that consumed and enslaved the ability to have a platform to express potentially art ‘however daring, however violent.’In this respect, the Futurist’s raged an aesthetic war against accepted and commercialized art forms: “Away then with hired restorers of antiquated incrustations. Away with affected archaeologists with their chronic necrophilia! Down with the critics, those complacent pimps! Down with gouty academics and drunken, ignorant professors!”The Illustrious Italian past was dead and the whole world knew it. With their rejection of docile artistry the Futurists concerned themselves with the present.
They believed that ‘living art draws its life from the surrounding environment’ and not from the death grip of history. Futurist art would still speak to the honor of Italy, but in a language that paralleled their inspired existence in contemporary time.