Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Juan Gris. Autograph Manuscript.
    Five pages in French, 6.5" x 8.75", n.p.; n.d. [circa 1918]. In this manuscript, Gris discusses Futurism and its relationship with Cubism. The English translation is presented here.

    "The basis of Futurism is a social idea. It is the elation of modern living. To specialize in painting airplanes, locomotives and cars is like painting pans, Madonnas or sunsets. What matters is a novel representation of the world. They have never seen something like it. When the allegedly futurist painters arrived in Paris and saw Picasso's paintings their paintings took on the same aspect. At the beginning of Cubist movement Picasso described it thusly: 'I don't paint what I see, I paint what I know.' Yet knowledge comes from motor functions. Plato's myth of the cave proves how faulty our vision is. The aspect of his paintings was therefore complex due to the multiple ways of knowing an object or phenomenon. Futurist painters arrived at this aspect not by moving themselves and acquiring knowledge through their own motor function but by moving their models. They painted a vision of cars racing, of locomotives, of plane propellers turning, etc. The representation of the world was antiquated. Only the models [illegible] modern. With the cubists, though, the representation of the world was novel. Their models were timeless. So if the basis of futurism is social then the basis of cubism is philosophical.

    The elation of modern life, of the brutality of factories and war, of the nation, that is what futurism gave to fascism. If the father of fascism is Mussolini, its uncle is Marinetti [Filippo Tommaso Marinetti]... last helping hand Marinetti showed how certain portions of speeches [illegible] were futurist except when it came to clericalism, which the futurists attacked as backward-looking. Otherwise the fascist program aligns well with futurist manifestos.

    Focusing on progress and modernity, the Futurists sought to sweep away traditional artistic notions and replace them with an energetic celebration of the machine age. Futurism was invented, and predominantly based, in Italy, led by Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (1876-1944), an Italian poet, editor, and art theorist. The group was at its most influential and active between 1909 and 1914 but was revived by Marinetti after the end of World War I. This revival attracted new artists and became known as second generation Futurism. Although most prominent in Italy, Futurist ideas were utilized by artists all over Europe and the United States.

    Juan Gris (1887-1927), born José Victoriano González-Pérez, was a Spanish painter born in Madrid who lived and worked in France most of his life. Closely connected to Cubism, his works are among the movement's most distinctive.

    An interesting view of Futurism by this artist of the Cubism movement.

    Condition: Manuscript has horizontal fold, some rough edges on first page, where paper was torn from a larger piece; otherwise good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 358

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 29 days left to consign to the 2020 March 4 Rare Books Signature Auction Books Signature Auction - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $950,931