Luigi Russolo, “Dynamism of a Car” (1912 – 1913)

Illustrating the Doppler effect: Luigi Russolo, "Dynamism of a Car" (1912 - 1913)

The Futurist movement, an offshoot of Cubism initiated by the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876 – 1944), displayed an obsession with motion and speed to such an extent that led Marinetti once declare, in a fit of exaggeration, that a racing car was more beautiful than the Nike of Samothrace. The Futurist painters produced images reminiscent of chronophotography, systematically introducing the time dimension in painting. In “Dynamism of a Car”, a Futurist classic, Luigi Russolo attempts to convey the idea of motion by the apparent compression of sound waves in front of the car. The picture is strikingly similar to Physics textbook pictures illustrating the Doppler effect.



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