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Fulvia Giuliani: Portrait of a Futurist Actress

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 January 2009


Despite the importance of Italian Futurism to the modernist movement in Europe during the early inter-war period, it has suffered a bad press – initially because of its association with the emergent fascist movement, and more recently because of the feminist concern with apparently misogynistic elements in the writing of the acknowledged leader of the movement, F. T. Marinetti. However, Günter Berghaus argues that this is to ignore not only the roots of Marinetti's own anti-feminism – in contempt for the very aspects of subservient womanhood now condemned by feminists themselves – but also the support that Futurism enjoyed from a number of women artists in Italy at the time. Certainly, the early career of the actress Fulvia Giuliani affirms both her strong endorsement for and participation in the movement, and her contempt for women who passively accepted the roles assigned to them by the patriarchy. Günter Berghaus, who teaches in the Drama Department of the University of Bristol, here outlines Giuliani's role in the Futurist movement and documents it from previously unpublished sources.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1994

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Notes and References

1. Marinetti, F. T., ‘Interview sur le futurisme’, in Comoedia, 26 03 1909Google Scholar; reprinted in Marinetti, F. T., Poupées électriques (Paris, 1909), p. 32–3.Google Scholar

2. Her review of Roi Bombance, The Foundation Manifesto of Futurism, and the journal Poesia was reprinted in Poesia, V. Nos. 3-6 (April-July 1909), p. 49.Google Scholar

3. See the catalogue, L'altra metà dell'avanguardia, 1910-1940: pittrici e scultrici nei movimenti delle avanguardie storiche, ed. Vergine, L. (Milan, 1980). Pages 75130Google Scholar are dedicated to women Futurist artists.

4. Salaris, Claudia, Le futuriste: donne e letteratura d'avanguardia in Italia 1909-1944 (Milan, 1982).Google Scholar

5. Settimelli, E., ‘Fulvia Giuliani, grande attrice futurista’, in Italia Futurista, II, No. 28 (9 09 1917), p. 2.Google Scholar

6. The arditi had been the Italian shock troops in the First World War and had formed a military and political elite in the army hierarchy. After the war, they were in the forefront of a rebellion against the conservative Government in Rome.