Giorgio de Chirico, Volos 1888 - 1978 Rome
Giorgio de Chirico is best known for his mysterious and dreamlike compositions which question the nature of reality and go beyond what is seen in the physical world. Born in Greece in 1888 to Italian parents, de Chirico’s childhood laid the foundation for his interest in Classicism. He moved to Paris and in 1911 and began prolifically producing his famous ‘Metaphysical Paintings’. Using a realist style, these paintings depict empty plazas with isolated figures and seemingly random, juxtaposed objects. These strange and disorienting compositions pre-empted the twentieth-century fascination with the subconscious; metaphysical painting was an avant-garde movement which, although short-lived, acted as a significant precursor to Surrealism. De Chirico’s works were influenced by the great philosophers of the twentieth century and in particular the writings of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. In Paris, he encountered Surrealist artists and writers including Ernst and Breton and although De Chirico was inspired by these figures, his own artistic style remained distinctive.