Giacomo Balla was part of the first wave of Futurist painters and was born in 1871. He was a well known teacher in his time and his pupils included Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini. Balla's early works were greatly influenced by Seurat and the pointillist movement, but by 1912 he had joined the Futurist movement. After 1909 Balla's paintings became more and more concerned with the portrayal of light, speed and movement - this fascination is demonstrated in his works such as The Hand of the Violinist, and the Speed of the Motorcycle. As Balla sought to break down elements such as light to their simplest forms he moved closer to total abstraction in his paintings. By 1914 Balla was so involved in his art work, and his belief in Futurism that he named his two daughters Propeller and Light! During the second wave of Futurism in the 1920's Balla remained to be a strong force within the younger Futurists. Balla's paintings and sculptures slowly began to shift to more geometric forms, which he would alternate with figurative abstractions. By the end of his life, Balla had moved away from Futurism all together even though he had been an important driving influence. Giacomo Balla died in 1958.