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Artist: Umberto Boccioni
Completion Date: 1915
Place of Creation: Milan, Italy
Genre: genre painting
Technique: collage, tempera
Dimensions: 50 x 32 cm
Gallery: Collection of Riccardo and Magda Jucker, Milan, Italy
The Charge of the Lancers is the only known work by Boccioni that is devoted exclusively to the theme of war. Being a collage, Charge was also a rare departure for the artist in terms of medium.
In previous works, Boccioni had used the figure of the horse as a symbol for work, but in this collage the horse becomes a symbol of war and natural strength, since it appears to be overcoming a horde of German bayonets. If, in fact, Boccioni was establishing the brute strength of the horse over man-made weapons, it would suggest a slight departure from the Futurist principles of Marinetti.
This work also eerily prefigures Boccioni’s own death from having been trampled by a horse.