Fortunato Depero

Here is a portrait of Fortunato Depero. <>

Fortunato Depero was an Italian futurist painter, writer, sculptor, and graphic designer. He was born on March 30, 1892 in Fondo, Italy. “He grew up in Rovereto and it was here when he first began exhibiting his works, while also serving as an apprentice to a marble worker in 1910. He schooled at Scuola Reale Elisabettina in Rovereto, Italy, where he was taught to develop technical specialization and applied arts techniques” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”). Depero was greatly known for being a futurist artist during his time because he pushed boundaries that other artists didn’t and that is what made him a lot different than other futuristic artists. Futurism was the art movement that emphasized speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Most people did not really understand or even like futurism because of how different it was than any other forms of art. He created many futuristic artworks that are very well known still to this day. Futurism is what made Depero the artist he was known as.

Fortunato Depero’s career began as a fine artist and eventually developed into commercial art. Over time, Depero became the most successful futurist graphic designer. Futurism during this time was very important because it was pushing boundaries that artists had not tried before, so being the most successful futurist graphic designer is very honorable.  Futurists supported machine-driven technology and garnered a strong desire to rebuild anew. “Speed and power were inspirations for the artists, and futurist works were created with geometric elements and great intensity, direction and color. Advertising was an important medium for futurists to extend their ideas” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”). Also, “Depero was never one of Futurism’s leading members, but he was the most persistent and longest lived, the man whose work embodied many of the movement’s best inclinations (combining disparate art forms) and worst prejudices (glorifying Fascism)” (Keats). Futurism played a big role in Depero’s career because of the different artistic styles he was creating during this time.

In 1919 Depero founded the “Casa d’Arte Futurista” (House of Futurist Art) in Rovereto, which specialized in producing toys, tapestries and furniture in the futurist style. In 1925 he represented the futurists at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts) and presented a Futurist Hall at the Monza Biennial (“Depero Futuristi ” Depero, Futurism and More!” ). Depero worked with futurist painter Giacomo Bella, and the pair signed The Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe. The manifesto suggested “sound and kinetic three-dimensional advertisements,” which were completely unheard of at the time (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”).  He also wrote a promo book called Depero Futurista which talked about the new futurist advertising design styles. Depero was a really talented graphic designer and was able to create/design so many posters for a variety of different advertisements. “The pages were fastened with nuts and bolts, which created a unique, modern and thereby futurist design. The design of the book was marked by geometric shapes with a paper cut-out style in black and white” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”). The design was also considered to be very simple which was another innovative way of being a futuristic styled book. After releasing Depero Futurista in 1927, “he moved to New York, becoming the first – and only – Italian Futurist to move to the United States. While in the United States he would design front covers for publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker” (“Depero Futuristi ” Depero, Futurism and More!” ). While he was in New York, he also continued to paint, design for the theater, and work as a freelance advertising designer. The majority of his work was mostly used to promote futurism as well as promoting himself. “He also dabbled in interior design during his stay, working on two restaurants which were later demolished to make way for the Rockefeller Center. He also did work for the New York Daily News and Macy’s and built a house on 23rd Street. In 1930 he returned to Italy” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”).

Another piece he wrote was, “ the outline for Il Futurismo e l’arte pubblicitaria (Futurism and the Art of Advertising), which spoke of the inevitable impact that advertising would make on art in the future” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”). Depero had many successful advertising series for a variety of different companies. For example, he did work for Campari aperitif and  S. Pellegrino magnesia. For Campari aperitif he made a wood sculpture and many posters. “His work was compiled into a book called Numero unico futurista Campari 1931. In addition, Depero designed a distinctive bottle design for Campari Soda in 1932, which is still used in production today” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”). For S. Pellegrino magnesia he created one of his most successful advertising poster. “The poster was composed of key futurist design elements, such as geometric shapes; large areas of flat, bright color; and the illusion of movement” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”).

In 1957, three years before his death, “he organized the creation of the Galleria Permanente e Museo Depero in Rovereto, Italy – an institution devoted to preserving and displaying his work and that of other Futurists and which today contains over 3000 paintings and drawings, as well as over 7500 manuscripts relevant to Futurism” (“Depero Futuristi ” Depero, Futurism and More!”).  On November 29, 1960, Fortunato Depero died at age 68 due to diabetes. He was also unable to paint for the last two years of his life due to hemiparesis. However, many of his works are still exhibited today in Italian museums. “Many of his works are featured in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto (MART). The Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero, Italy’s only museum dedicated to the Futurist movement, containing 3,000 objects, is now one of MART’s venues. Closed for many years for extensive refurbishment, the Casa d’Arte Futurista Depero reopened in 2009” (“Fortunato Depero: Biography”). Fortunato Depero’s bold and experimental works will always be recognized by aspiring artists and people who view his art. He set a high standard for artists of the future because of how innovative his work was. Fortunato Depero’s legacy will live on forever.


“Depero Futuristi ” Depero, Futurism and More!” Depero FuturistiRSS,

“Fortunato Depero: Biography.” Fortunato Depero & A.M. Cassandre, 27 Apr. 2012,

Keats, Jonathon. “Fortunato Depero’s Italian Futurism.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 July 2012,