This superbly energetic pen and ink drawing dating from 1909 gives a rare example of the work concerning Carlo Carrà in the months preceding his leading involvement with the publication of the Manifesto dei pittori Futuristi, in April 1910 which had followed Marinettis Fondazione e Manifesto del Futurismo of February 1909. Carràs time as a student at the Accademia di Brera (1906-08) had exposed him to the traditional theories and practices of drawing and painting as well as to the underlying restlessness of the student body with these regulating principles of art. The longing for a new artistic language had led Carrà and his friends among whom Ugo Valeri, Arnoldo Bonzagni and, a little later, Umberto Boccioni - to explore a range of modern artistic trends inspired, essentially, by contemporary painting in France. Around 1908/09, Cubism and, by extension, Divisionism, became their principal field of interest, and practice. For Carrà however, the investigation was short-lived as he rapidly moved on to the challenges of drafting with Boccioni, Russolo, Balla and Severini the theoretical principles of one of Italys most important art movements of the twentieth century.
While the subject of the present drawing remains in the register of the academic repertoire, its treatment reveals the artists confirmed desire to adapt the form to a new-found language of modernism. Here, Carrà invests the body of his Modella with all the inner dynamics of a physical movement at rest seduta, combining the figures ability to move and rest at the same time. On the page, the artist carefully separates the figure into geometrical parts which he then (re-) assembles by using a strong and often searching cross-hatch line. The overall effect produces a powerful image of the dynamics contained in the motionless posture of a seated woman.