Definitions

Umberto

Umberto

[It. oom-ber-taw]
Eco, Umberto, 1932-, Italian novelist, essayist, and scholar. His first novel, The Name of the Rose (tr. 1983), is a medieval mystery. A pastiche of detective fiction, medieval philosophy, and moral reflection, it encapsulates his semiotic theory, which describes how signs are produced and interpreted in the world. The novel presents clues for the reader to decode, but as the reader grapples with the novel's deeper meanings, the mystery becomes secondary. Eco's other novels include Foucault's Pendulum (tr. 1989), The Island of the Day Before (tr. 1995), Baudolino (tr. 2002), and The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana (tr. 2005). Among his important theoretical books are A Theory of Semiotics (1976), The Role of the Reader (1979), and The Limits of Interpretation (1990).

See studies by T. Coletti (1988) and M. T. Inge, ed. (1988).

Boccioni, Umberto, 1882-1916, Italian futurist painter and sculptor. He played a primary role in the drafting of the manifesto of futurism in 1910 and was the major figure in the movement until 1914. In his famous, characteristic painting, The City Rises (1910; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City), he interpreted powerfully the technological turbulence of modern civilization. Influenced by Medardo Rosso, Boccioni turned to sculpture in 1912 and sought to translate light and motion into mass. His sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913; Mus. of Modern Art) embodies his concept of "lines of force" to replace the use of straight lines.
Giordano, Umberto, 1867-1948, Italian operatic composer. His most famous work is the richly melodic Andrea Chénier (1896). Fedora (1898) and Madame Sans-Gěne (1915) are also well known.
Umberto. For Italian kings so named, use Humbert.
Agnelli, Umberto: see under Agnelli, family.

(born Jan. 5, 1932, Alessandria, Italy) Italian critic and novelist. He has taught since 1971 at the University of Bologna. In The Open Work (1962), he suggested that some literature and modern music is fundamentally ambiguous and invites the audience to participate in the interpretive and creative process. He explored other areas of communication and semiotics in A Theory of Semiotics (1976), Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (1984), and The Limits of Interpretation (1991). His novels include the erudite but best-selling murder mystery The Name of the Rose (1980; film, 1986), Foucault's Pendulum (1988), and The Island of the Day Before (1995).

Learn more about Eco, Umberto with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Oct. 19, 1882, Reggio di Calabria, Italy—died Aug. 16, 1916, Verona) Italian painter, sculptor, and theorist. He was trained in the studio of Giacomo Balla (1871–1958) in Rome. The most energetic member of the Futurist group (seealso Futurism), Boccioni helped publish Technical Manifesto of the Futurist Painters (1910), promoting the representation of modern technology, power, time, motion, and speed. These ideas are best shown in his masterpiece of early modern sculpture, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913). His painting The City Rises (1910) is a dynamic composition of swirling human figures in a fragmented crowd scene.

Learn more about Boccioni, Umberto with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Jan. 5, 1932, Alessandria, Italy) Italian critic and novelist. He has taught since 1971 at the University of Bologna. In The Open Work (1962), he suggested that some literature and modern music is fundamentally ambiguous and invites the audience to participate in the interpretive and creative process. He explored other areas of communication and semiotics in A Theory of Semiotics (1976), Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language (1984), and The Limits of Interpretation (1991). His novels include the erudite but best-selling murder mystery The Name of the Rose (1980; film, 1986), Foucault's Pendulum (1988), and The Island of the Day Before (1995).

Learn more about Eco, Umberto with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Oct. 19, 1882, Reggio di Calabria, Italy—died Aug. 16, 1916, Verona) Italian painter, sculptor, and theorist. He was trained in the studio of Giacomo Balla (1871–1958) in Rome. The most energetic member of the Futurist group (seealso Futurism), Boccioni helped publish Technical Manifesto of the Futurist Painters (1910), promoting the representation of modern technology, power, time, motion, and speed. These ideas are best shown in his masterpiece of early modern sculpture, Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913). His painting The City Rises (1910) is a dynamic composition of swirling human figures in a fragmented crowd scene.

Learn more about Boccioni, Umberto with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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