Ricciotto Canudo

Ricciotto Canudo ( January 2, 1877 Gioia del Colle – November 10, 1923 Paris ) is an Italian writer.

Novelist , poet , philosopher , art critic , literary critic , film critic , musicologist , writer , he invented in 1919 the term ”  7 th art  ” to refer to the cinema .


Based in Paris in 1902 , Ricciotto Canudo plays an active role in avant-garde literary and artistic circles and directs the Italian literature section at the Mercure de France . He published La ville sans chef , his first novel, in 1910. In 1903, he met Valentine de Saint-Point during a session of spiritualism  : they became lovers.

Canudo publishes on October 25, 1911 a preliminary essay entitled The Birth of a Sixth Art – Essay on Cinematography . 1911 is the year of Little Nemo , a famous animated film; as well as The Lonedale Telegraphist by David W. Griffith .

In 1913 , he founded the magazine Montjoie! , “Organ of the French artistic imperialism, illustrated bi-monthly newspaper”, where the nationalism is curiously mixed with the aesthetic innovation. If the magazine opens to writers ( Guillaume Apollinaire , Cendrars , Fargue , Jacques Dyssord ), it is primarily “cerebral”, which means “sensual and cerebral at once” according to the definition of Canudo. Many creators have contributed, such as Fernand Léger , Igor Stravinsky , Albert Gleizes , Raymond Duchamp-Villon. In the premises of the magazine, his apartment rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, Canudo organizes “Mondays de Montjoie!  “Which together include Robert Delaunay , Dunoyer de Segonzac , Erik Satie , Fernand Léger , Blaise Cendrars , Andre Salmon , Marc Chagall , Joseph Csaky and Henry Valensi , etc.

At the declaration of war , Canudo signs with Blaise Cendrars a “call to foreigners living in France” inviting them to engage. He engages himself in the foreign legion . After the entry into the war of Italy, he participated in the fighting on the front of Macedonia , which he evokes, in stories that he now signs “Captain Canudo. He will be wounded and will be mentioned several times to the order of the brigade. It is decorated with the 1914-1918 war cross , the military value of Italy and the Legion of Honor .

In 1920 , he published a text entitled “Defend the cinematograph! In the Roman magazine L’epoca . He points out that “all the arts, before becoming a trade and an industry, were at their origin aesthetic expressions of a few handfuls of dreamers. The Cinematograph had a different fate, starting with being an industry and a trade. Now he must become an art. We want to accelerate the moment when it will become so for good. ” 2

In 1921 , he managed to bring cinema to the Salon d’Automne .

He repeats in Intransigeant the st April 1922 , that “the cinema is an art. The film is a work of art. The screen artist paints with light brushes, as the organist plays with the breaths of the pipes. That same year he founded La Gazette des Sept Arts , a magazine in which he published the following year a Manifesto of the Seventh Art .



Novels of new crowds:

  • The city without a leader . The Illustrated World , 1910. The Renaissance of the Book , 1918.
  • The Liberated. Memoirs of an alienist , with a preface by Paul Adam , coll. “Library-Charpentier”, Paris, Eugène Fasquelle , 1911.
  • Transplanted . Paris, Eugene Fasquelle.
  • The Other Wing . Paris, Eugene Fasquelle.
  • The Stairs of the Seven Women . Paris, Eugene Fasquelle.
  • Crossed open on the soul and the flesh . Paris, Ferenczi and Sons, 1924.

Poems [ change | change the code ]

  • Poem of the Vardar SP 503 . The Renaissance of the Book.
  • Skating Rink . Paris, Mercure de France .
  • The Song of Vatiluck . Paris, Mercure de France.

War works of Canudo captain [ change | change the code ]

In the purple scrum of the races:

  • I. Gray Days and Red Nights in Argonne (Twelve Frescoes of the Garibaldian Action) . Marseille, Éditions Hélios. Under the pseudonym of Captain Oudanc
  • II. Reflections of Fire, 15 faces of the masses, cities, men . Paris, The Renaissance of the Book.
  • III. Eastern Fights. Dardanelles-Salonica (1915-1916) . Paris, Hachette, 1917.
  • My purple soul. Romanesque forest and river Argonne and Vardar . Paris, The Renaissance of the Book.


Essays of metaphysical determinism:

  • The Book of Genesis – Vision of the 9th Symphony of Beethoven. Paris, Éditions de la Plume, 1905.
  • The Book of Evolution – Man. Musical Psychology of Civilizations , E. Sansot , 1908.
  • The Book of Demonstration – Morality in Nature. Épisynthèses.
  • Manifesto of the Seven Arts , coll. “Carré d’Art”, Séguier, Paris, 1995.
  • The factory with images , Canudo texts published by Jean-Paul Morel, Séguier, Paris, 1995.


  • Noémi Blumenkranz-Onimus, ” Montjoie! Or Heroic Crusade for a New Culture”, in The Year 1913 , under the direction of Liliane Brion-Guerry. Paris, Klincksieck, Volume 2, 1971.
  • Canudo , Quaderni del Novecento Francese . Roma, Bulzoni, 1976.
  • Giovanni Dotoli , Ricciotto Canudo or cinema as art , preface by Jean-Louis Leutrat, Fasano-Paris, Schena-Didier Érudition, 1999.

External links

  • Authority Notices  : Virtual International Authority File  • International Standard Name Identifier  • National Library of France ( Data ) • University Documentation System  • Library of Congress  •National Librarian Service  • Leonore Base  • Royal Library of the Netherlands  • WorldCat
  • Text on the Manifesto of the Seven Arts on the site of the University of Metz  [ archive ]
  • Biography of Ricciotto Canudo by the Alumni Association of the Foreign Legion of Paris  [ archive ]
  • Montjoie, Special Salon of Independent Artists, March 18, 1913, Gallica, BnF  [ archive ]
  • Montjoie, January-February 1914, Gallica, BnF  [ archive ]
  • Montjoie, April, May, June 1914, Gallica, BnF  [ archive ]

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Montjoie, 18 March 1913  [ archive ]
  2. ↑ in François Guérif, Ciné miscellanea (2007), Zone Books Publishing.

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