Ricciotto Canudo (1879-1923)

Ricciotto Canudo was an Italian film theoretician who lived primarily in France. In his manifesto The Birth of the Sixth Art, published as early as 1911, he argued that the cinema synthetized the spatial arts (architecture, sculpture and painting) with the temporal arts (music and dance). He later added poetry in his 1923 better-known manifesto Reflections on the Seventh Art. He is therefore considered to be the very first theoretician of cinema. He saw cinema as "plastic art in motion".


Canudo came to Fiume in February 1920 as president of the Fédération des volontaires étrangers and on 7 March he organized a propagandistic flypast, dropping leaflets expressing his committee’s support for the enterprise over the city and towns.

(Claudia Salaris, Alla festa della rivoluzione. Artisti e libertari con D'Annunzio a Fiume, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2002; pag. 31).

Ricciotto Canudo portrayed by Picasso, 1919.