l’ Avanguardia Cattolica: The Forgotten Church of Futurism

By Justine Grace.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the Manifesto of Futurist Painters (1910), Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo, Balla and Severini, proclaimed that: ‘we will fight with all our might the fanatical, senseless and snobbish religion of the past’, and throughout the second decade of the twentieth century, Marinetti, and his compagne di strade, rebelled against the Catholic Church, subverting her codified principles of morality for a ‘new religion-morality of speed’. Yet, by the late 1920s, Marinetti and Fillia had abandoned the movement’s intransigent anticlericalism, aligning themselves with the inter-war modern sacred art movement and advocating a complete regeneration of sacred art in their Manifesto d’Arte Sacra Futurista of 1931. In the following year, the architect Alberto Sartoris constructed the futurist church Nôtre Dame du Bon Secours in Lourtier, Switzerland.
My paper explores this shift in futurist ideology and argues that, despite the apparent paradox of a futurist church, it offers a unique example of the futurist desire to re-engage the masses with the avant-garde.

Keywords: Futurism, Art and Religion, Christian Avant-garde, Public Art, Mural Decoration

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.293-310. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.174MB).

Justine Grace

PhD Student, The School of Culture and Communication, Department of Art History, The University of Melbourne, Firenze, Firenze, Italy

Justine Grace is a PhD candidate in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis is entitled The Return to Religion: Italian modernism under the auspices of French neo-Thomism. She has published articles in International and Australian journals including Critica d’Arte, Colloquy, Philament and Lola.


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