The Hand of the Violinist

The Hand of the Violinist (The Rhythms of the Rainbow)
Artist Giacomo Balla
Year 1912 (1912)
Medium oil on canvas
Subject The hand of a violinist in play
Dimensions 56 cm × 78.3 cm (22 in × 30.8 in)[1]
Location Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

The Hand of the Violinist (The Rhythms of the Rainbow) is a 1912 painting by Italian Futurist Giacomo Balla, depicting a musician's hand and the neck of a violin "made to look like it's vibrating through space"—blurred and duplicated to suggest the motion of frenetic playing.[2] [3] The painting, representative of Futurism's first wave, exhibits techniques of Divisionism.[4]

Balla was inspired to use multiplication to imply motion by the photographic experiments of Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey.[4] As with other Futurists, he was also greatly inspired by Cubism's methods of capturing multiple perspectives; The Hand of the Violinist has been said to bring the viewer "inside the reverberations of the instrument itself", and has earned comparison with Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending A Staircase.[5]

From February to August 2014, the painting was part of an exhibit, Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe, at the Guggenheim in New York.[4][6]


  1. "The Hand of the Violinist". WikiArt. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  2. "Motion pictures: Movement in art and popular culture". The Independent. January 24, 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  3. Opam, Kwame (May 1, 2014). "How Futurism transformed the art world by worshipping technology". The Verge. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 Greenwald, Xico (April 22, 2014). "Back to the Futurism". New York Sun. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  5. Bertrand, Sandra (July 24, 2014). "Invasion of the Italian Futurists". Highbrow Magazine. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  6. "Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe". Guggenheim. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
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