In the early 20th century, no other country seemed as intoxicated by speed as Italy. In 1909, the father of Futurism F.T. Marinetti wrote: "A race car . . . roaring, as if running on machine-gun fire, is more beautiful than the Victory of Samothrace." In its efforts to promote the glories of the "New Rome," Mussolini shared this excitement by supporting the seaplane flotilla that daringly flew from Rome to New York as well as financing the Rex and Savoia, the fastest ships on the Atlantic from 1933 into 1935.
This rare and dramatic poster promotes the 1931 Venetian Championship speedboat races. A streamlined motorboat kicks up a huge wake as it hurtles towards the viewer, under the watchful eye of the Venetian lion of St. Mark. Riccobaldi, formerly a stage set designer at La Scala, created many masterpieces for the largest Italian clients including FIAT and Lloyd Triestino.