Description & Technical information

‘An offshoot, or rather a metamorphosis, of Futurism, Aeropainting was the artistic reflection of the passion for flying which swept Italy in the 1930s, during the years of the great feats achieved by [Francesco] De Pinedo, [Italo] Balbo, [Arturo] Ferrarin, [Umberto] Maddalena and many other pilots, dizzingly celebrated in these swirling, booming canvases…Despite various premonitory hints in the form of isolated pictorial allusions, it was not until the end of the 1920s that the idea of Aeropainting moved in from the periphery to become the true heart, engine and, not long afterwards, also the new face of Futurism, almost twenty years after the publication of its founding manifesto.’ As the artist Gerardo Dottori noted, in the catalogue of an early exhibition of Futurist aeropainting held in Milan in 1931, ‘Aeropainting doesn’t so much mean inserting new figurative elements in painting – propellers, airplanes, atmosphere and so on – as giving painters new, broad-ranging possibilities of inspiration.’

A slightly larger watercolour variant of this composition, horizontal in format and dated 1932, is in the Archivio Mino Delle Site in Rome. The present sheet is also closely related in composition to a large painting on panel by Delle Site, entitled Il pilota aliluce, which is dated 1932.

240 x 166 mm. (9 1/2 x 6 1/2 in.) [backing sheet]

Date:  1932
Period:  20th century
Origin:  Italy
Medium: Watercolour, Framing lines in black ink, On paper, Touches of silver pen, Laid down onto a sheet of black paper
Signature: Signed and dated Delle Site 32, written over an earlier signature and date, at the lower centre. Titled SOGNO DELL AVIERE in silver pen on the backing sheet, below the image.

Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.3 cm (3⁵/₈ x 3¹/₄ inches)
Provenance: The studio of the artist
Thence by descent to a private collection, Rome.
Literature: Gino Agnese, ‘Incontri con Delle Site’, in Giuseppe Appella, ed., Verso le avanguardie: Gli anni del Futurismo in Puglia 1909-1944, exhibition catalogue, Bari and Taranto, 1998, illustrated p.345; Renato Miracco, ed., Mino Delle Site: Alle Radici dell’Aeropittura 1931-1934, exhibition catalogue, Warsaw and Cracow, 2001, illustrated on the cover; Chiara Letizia Delle Site, ed., Mino Delle Site, 2006, illustrated p.50; Domenico Guzzi, Mino Delle Site: Forme assolute della geometria, Rome, 2008, illustrated p.12; Chiara Letizia Delle Site, ed., Centenario Mino Delle Site, 2014 [e-book], illustrated.

Exhibitions: Bari, Castello Svevo and Taranto, Castello Aragonese, Verso le avanguardie: Gli anni del Futurismo in Puglia 1909-1944, 1998; Lecce, Museo Provinciale ‘S. Castromediano’, Mino Delle Site, 2006, no.58. 

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints