Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was an Italian artist and writer born in Greece, founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists.

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Paintings by Giorgio de Chirico

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“If a work of art is to be truly immortal, it must pass quite beyond the limits of the human world, without any sign of common sense and logic. In this way, the work will draw nearer to dream and to the mind of a child.” Giorgio de Chirico

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was an Italian artist and writer born in Greece. In the years before World War I, he founded the scuola metafisica art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. His most well-known works often feature Roman arcades, long shadows, mannequins, trains, and illogical perspective. His imagery reflects his affinity for the philosophy of Nietzsche and for the mythology of his birthplace.

After 1919, he became a critic of modern art, studied traditional painting techniques, and worked in a neoclassical or neo-Baroque style, while frequently revisiting the metaphysical themes of his earlier work.

Some Quotes by Giorgio de Chirico

“One must picture everything in the world as an enigma, and live in the world as if in a vast museum of strangeness.”

“There is much more mystery in the shadow of a man walking on a sunny day, than in all religions of the world.”

“To become truly immortal a work of art must escape all human limits: logic and common sense will only interfere. But once these barriers are broken it will enter the regions of childhood vision and dream.”

“Everything has two aspects: the current aspect, which we see nearly always and which ordinary men see, and the ghostly and metaphysical aspect, which only rare individuals may see in moments of clairvoyance and metaphysical abstraction.”

“When I close my eyes my vision is even more powerful.”

Some Paintings by Giorgio de Chirico

Flight of the Centauri, Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon and Enigma of the Oracle (1909)
Ritratto di Andrea de Chirico (Alias Alberto Savinio) (1909–1910)
The Enigma of the Hour (1911)
The Nostalgia of the Infinite (1911), or 1912–1913
Melanconia, The Enigma of the Arrival and La Matinée Angoissante (1912)
The Soothsayers Recompense, The Red Tower, Ariadne, The Awakening of Ariadne, The Uncertainty of the Poet, La Statua Silenziosa, The Anxious Journey, Melancholy of a Beautiful Day, Le Rêve Transformé, and Self-Portrait (1913)
The Anguish of Departure (begun in 1913), Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire, The Nostalgia of the Poet, L’Énigme de la fatalité, Gare Montparnasse (The Melancholy of Departure), The Song of Love, The Enigma of a Day, The Philosopher’s Conquest, The Child’s Brain, The Philosopher and the Poet, Still Life: Turin in Spring, Piazza d’Italia (Autumn Melancholy), and Melancholy and Mystery of a Street (1914)
The Evil Genius of a King (begun in 1914), The Seer (or The Prophet), Piazza d’Italia, The Double Dream of Spring, The Purity of a Dream, Two Sisters (The Jewish Angel) and The Duo (1915)
Andromache, The Melancholy of Departure, The Disquieting Muses, Metaphysical Interior with Biscuits (1916)
Metaphysical Interior with Large Factory and The Faithful Servitor (both began in 1916), The Great Metaphysician, Ettore e Andromaca, Metaphysical Interior, Geometric Composition with Landscape and Factory and Great Metaphysical Interior (1917)
Metaphysical Muses and Hermetic Melancholy (1918)
Still Life with Salami and The Sacred Fish (1919)