Trivium Art HistoryGiorgio de Chirico

The Disquieting Muse

The Disquieting Muse, 1918 — Giorgio de Chirico,
97 cm66 cm

One of the most famous metaphysical paintings, De Chirico's The Disquieting Muses was painted in the city of Ferrara, Italy, during World War I. De Chirico considered Ferrara a perfect “metaphysical city,” and used much of the cityscape of Ferrara in the painting. The large castle in the background is the Castello Estense, a medieval fortress in the center of the city. The three “muses,” in the foreground of the painting, are “disquieting” due to the fact that they were the pathway to overcome appearances and allowed the viewer to engage in a discourse with the unknown. This painting inspired a poem by Sylvia Plath, also entitled “The Disquieting Muses.”

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