Rayonism (or more rarely: Rayonnism) essentially goes back to the Russian artist Mikhail Fedorovich Larionov. Influenced by the Futurist Manifesto (1909) by the Italian theorist Marinetti, he published the "Manifesto of Rayonism" in 1913. In it, he demanded the representation of the fourth dimension, light, in analogy to Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity. Furthermore, Cubism was significant for the development of Rayonism. From 1910 to 1914, Larionov experimented with light beams and divided objects into colour beam compositions in order to represent energy and develop a feeling for the fourth dimension.
Together with Nataliya Goncharova, his partner and later wife, he painted pictures by transforming objects into abstract ray diagrams.
The Rayonists are also called "Lutschists", from the Russian lutsch (ray). The arrangement of all pictorial elements into parallel, overlapping ray-like fields of colour, splitting like beams of light, was given the name "luminarism".
The two artists also implemented the concept of Rayonism for stage decorations in Parisian theatres, where moving light was used.