The son of a disgraced landowner, Carlo Carrà learned the first hints of the art of drawing as a young man, at the age of 12, during a forced stay in bed due to a long illness. He soon began to work as a mural decorator in Valenza, meanwhile attending evening schools including in Milan in the years 1904-05 the Higher School of Applied Art in Industry of the Castello Sforzesco. In particular, Carrà was a wall decorator by profession, who attended the School in the years 1904-05 returning from Paris and London, before enrolling in the Brera Academy, distinguished himself there (he himself remembers it in his autobiography) "obtaining the first prize of decoration, of 500 lire, and the Noseda one of 175 lire "
In 1900, he went to Paris during the Universal Exposition, to carry out the decorations of some pavilions. Visiting the Louvre,he was enthusiastic about some painters, such as Delacroix, Gèricault, Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin. In London, however, he fell in love with the works of John Constable and William Turner. In this period he began to take an interest in politics, maintaining relations with anarchist groups that he soon interrupted, however.
He found himself by chance during the funeral of the anarchist Galli, killed by the caretaker of the factory who was picketing during the general strike of 1904, and despite being on the right and subsequently openly fascist, he was deeply impressed, and began to draw some sketches, which years later they resulted in the work The funeral of the anarchist Galli. Only in 1906 did he enter the Brera Academy as a pupil of Cesare Tallone. Here he met some young artists destined to be protagonists on the Italian art scene: Bonzagni, Romani, Sbardella, Valeri and Umberto Boccioni.
Brief pointillist experience: it is in fact in pointillism that Carrà sees the liveliest ferments of revolt against the provincial climate of Italian painting of those years. In 1909, with the publication of the Manifesto of Futurism, signed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, aimed at young artists of the time to urge them to adopt a new expressive language, the new movement of Futurism was born, to which Carrà and other artists adhere, including the painters Gino Severini and Giacomo Balla.
In the 1940s he taught painting at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan. Pupils of him were Giuseppe Ajmone and Oreste Carpi.