The Typist

Anton Giulio Bragaglia (Italian, 1890–1960)

Gelatin silver print
Image: 11.9 x 16.7 cm (4 11/16 x 6 9/16 in.) Sheet: 12.8 x 17.8 cm (5 1/16 x 7 in.)
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    At the age of nineteen, before he began his career as a theater director, set designer, and cinematographer, Bragaglia became greatly influenced by F. T. Marinetti, the founder of the Italian Futurist movement who espoused a love of danger, the beauty of speed, and the interdependence of time and space. Bragaglia soon extended this radically modern position to photography and sought to replace the frozen appearance of an instantaneous snapshot with a projection of the subject's dynamism, or interior essence. To accomplish his aesthetic goals, he left his camera's shutter open to register the absolute fluidity of motion itself-in this case, the fluttering of fingers across the keys of a typewriter. The result is a dissolution or dematerialization of the typist in a seamless picture of active life.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed in pencil in unknown hand, print verso, C [sideways]: "N. 1 // Dactylographie."

  • Provenance

    [Edwin Engelberts, Geneva]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, January 30, 1990

  • Notes

    Original title in 1913 publication: "Dattilografa".