Trivium Art HistoryThe Artists

Giorgio de ChiricoEnchanted space in the city of Nietzsche

Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian artist born in 1888. de Chirico contributed to the Surrealist, and Futurist movements, worked in Italy, Germany, France, the United States, and died in 1978.

Giorgio de Chirico was born to an Italian family living in Greece and studied in Athens, Florence and Munich, where he was influenced by Nietzsche's philosophy and Arnold Böcklin's Symbolist art. In 1910, de Chirico moved to Paris where he made contact with Picasso and befriended Guillaume Apollinaire, French poet and leader of the avant-gardistic movement rejecting poetic traditions in outlook, rhythm, and language. In Paris he began to produce highly troubling dreamlike pictures of deserted cities, eg. The Great TowerThe Soothsayer's RecompenseMystery and Melancholy of a Street — pictures with fantastic combinations of images that carried a charge of mystery, and repteted use of haunting iconography.

In 1917 in the Ferrara military hospital, de Chirico met the painter Carlo Carrà, and together they founded Metaphysical painting. Although the movement was short-lived, it was perhaps the most original and important movement in the Italian art of the 20th century, and considered by critics the highest point in de Chirico's painting career. De Chirico's Metaphysical paintings were hugely influential on Surrealist artists, who recognized in them the eloquent expression of the unconscious and nonsensical to which they themselves aspired. In 1918 de Chirico and Carrà contributed to the periodical Valori Plastici which gave a literary aspect to Metaphysical painting.

By the 1930s, however, de Chirico renounced all his previous work and reverted to an academic style, and to his study of the techniques of the old masters. His great interest in archeology and history took the form of Neo-Baroque paintings full of horses, still-lifes, and portraits. The Surrealists, in particular, condemned his later work.

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The Song of Love

1914

Christ and the Storm

1914

The Philosopher's Conquest

1914

Turin Spring

1914

The Grand Metaphysician

1917

The Disquieting Muse

1916-1918

The Terrible Games

1925

Archaeologists

1926

The Two Masks

1926

Le Rive Della Tessaglia

1926

The Painter's Family

1926

The Archaeologists

1927

The Eventuality of Destiny

1927

La Cohorte Invincible

1928

Cavalli

1930

Bathers on the Beach

1934

Cavalli in Riva al Mare

1934

America is no longer a new world but is, and always will be, another world. It is ... a question of molecules, of climate, of different atmosphere, of the special quality of the sun’s rays.

I have been to New York

1938

It is often said of a picture: this picture is not extraordinary, it is nothing remarkable, but “it shows great sensitiveness”.

Sensitiveness

1944

Self Portrait in Black Costume

1948

The Divine Horses

1963

The divine horses of Achilles, Balios and Xanthos

1963

Piazza d'Italia

1964

The Prodigal Son

1965

The Mute Orpheus

1971

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