Born in rural Sicily in 1908, Giulio D’Anna (1908 – 1978) would spend his childhood between Palermo and Messina, the two largest cities on the island. After becoming deeply influenced by Italian Futurism in his late teens, D’Anna would soon drop out of university to dedicate himself to painting. While he would adopt a highly modernist idiom in his paintings, D’Anna would always remain rooted in the Sicilian landscape, evident throughout the background of his works.
D’Anna’s style is most closely associated with the Aeropittura phase of futurism, a movement largely preoccupied with capturing the flight, dynamism and energy of airplanes and the views that they afforded. Through bold colours and striated surfaces, D’Anna sought to capture the kinetic energy of the modern plane. Such was his success that Marinetti, one of the progenitors of futurism, publicly praised D’Anna for capturing the ‘essence of the machine’ at his first exhibition.