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Umberto Boccioni was born in Reggio di Calabria but left for Rome when he was 18. There the painter Giacomo Balla taught him the neo-impressionist technique of divisionism: the dynamic use of elementary colours. In 1910, he met the spiritual father of futurism, the writer Marinetti. He felt drawn to this young, revolutionary movement that advocated a positive belief in permanent innovation. The world was coming to terms with the unique possibilites offered by the discovery of electricity and the invention of photographic material. Artistic had to participate in this process and not try to create aesthetic and timeless art in isolation. He had "to express and glorify modern life, which was continuously and eunexpectedly being transformed by the triumphs of science". Boccioni soon developed into a theoretician and leading figure of the futurism movement and wrote numerous manifestos. In 1915, when Italy became embroiled in the First World War, the patriotic futurists, including Boccioni, joined the army as volunteers. They regarded the Italian involvement first and foremost as the last step towards national unification. Military life did not match the expectations of the highly motivated Boccioni at all. He wrote to a friend, "I will leave this kind of life with the greatest contempt for everything that is not art.... Compared to art, all other things represent nothing more than messing around, a rut, patience and memories". Five days after writing these words Boccioni died after having fallen from his horse.