Artist Stories

The World As Seen Through de Chirico’s Surrealistic Eyes

Pola Otterstein 1 September 2017 min Read

Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian artist born in Greece in 1888. He started his education in Athens and Florence. Later he attended The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he profoundly immersed himself into Nietzsche’s and Schopenhauer’s philosophical worlds. Giorgio de Chirico is strongly associated with Surrealism, as he was one of the forerunners of the genre with a huge influence on the 20th Century cultural movement. His role in creating this new trend in art went deeper. However Giorgio’s de Chirico’s surrealistic eyes showed the world the unconscious in a different way.

The Serenity of the Scholar, Giorgio de Chirico, 1916, Museum of Modern Art, Chirico’s surrealistic eyes
The Serenity of the Scholar, Giorgio de Chirico, 1916, Museum of Modern Art

HHe also founded the Scuola Metafisica art movement, which strongly influenced later surrealists such as Salvador Dali, René Magritte and Max Ernst. His metaphysical art was also inspiring for some musicians or book writers.

“They say that Rome is at the centre of the world and that Piazza di Spagna [the Spanish Steps] is in the centre of Rome, therefore, my wife and I, would indeed be living in the centre of the centre of the world, which would be the apex of centrality, and the apogee of anti-eccentricity.”

– Giorgio de Chirico

The Memoirs of Giorgio de Chirico

The Disquieting Muses, Giorgio de Chirico, 1916-1918, Private Collection, Chirico’s surrealistic eyes
The Disquieting Muses, Giorgio de Chirico, 1916-1918, Private Collection
Methaphysical Interior, Giorgio de Chirico, 1916, Menil Collection, Texas, Chirico’s surrealistic eyes
Methaphysical Interior, Giorgio de Chirico, 1916, Menil Collection, Texas
The Song of Love, Giorgio de Chirico, 1914, Museum of Modern Art, Chirico’s surrealistic eyes
The Song of Love, Giorgio de Chirico, 1914, Museum of Modern Art

The Scuola Metafisica was all about metaphysical art, a concept that stemmed from de Chirico’s admiration for the surrounding metaphysical beauty that he had observed during his travels. Giorgio de Chirico’s surrealistic ideas blossomed into the creation of a large collection of mystic paintings with remarkably sharp contrasts and perplexing titles.

The Nostalgia of the Infinite, Giorgio de Chirico, 1913, Museum of Modern Art, Chirico’s surrealistic eyes
The Nostalgia of the Infinite, Giorgio de Chirico, 1913, Museum of Modern Art
The Uncertainty of the Poet, Giorgio de Chirico, 1913, Tate Modern, London, Chirico’s surrealistic eyes
The Uncertainty of the Poet, Giorgio de Chirico, 1913, Tate Modern, London

Following World War I, de Chirico became fascinated by traditional styles of painting, and created a number of neo-Baroque pieces.

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