Giorgio De Chirico was born to Italian parents on 10 July in 1888 in Vólos, Greece.

By Anne Leader

Giorgio De Chirico was born to Italian parents on 10 July in 1888 in Vólos, Greece. He died at age 90 in Rome. Part of the late-nineteenth-century Italian diaspora, De Chirico spent his childhood in Greece and Germany and studied philosophy in Florence in 1910. By 1911 he was in Paris where he exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in 1912 and 1913. It was here that he experimented with the style that came to be known as Pittura Metafisica, in which he explored nostalgia, enigma, and myth through haunting, poetic imagery. He once explained that “every object has two appearances: one, the current one, which we nearly always see and which is seen by people in general; the other, a spectral or metaphysical appearance beheld only by some individuals in moments of clairvoyance and metaphysical abstraction, as in the case of certain bodies concealed by substances impenetrable by sunlight yet discernible, for instance, by x-ray or other powerful artificial means.”

De Chirico returned to Italy in 1915 to serve in World War I, remaining there until 1924. He would return to Paris in the late ‘20s and spent the 1930s and ‘40s among Milan, New York, Florence, and Rome, where he remained until his death. De Chirico inspired numerous European artists between the World Wars and saw a revival of interest in the 1980s.

Reference: Matthew Gale. “De Chirico, Giorgio.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. 


The Red Tower (La tour rouge), 1913, oil on canvas, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553.64 © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

The Nostalgia of the Poet (La nostalgie du poète), 1914, oil and charcoal on canvas, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553.65 © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

Guillaume Apollinaire, oil on canvas, 1914, Paris, Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne; © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome, photo credit: CNAC/MNAM/Dist. Réunion des Musées Nationaux/Art Resource, NY

Self-Portrait, 1912-13, oil on canvas, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift in memory of Carl Van Vechten and Fania Marinoff, 1970 © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Giorgio de Chirico in 1936, photographed by Carl Van Vechten

Ariadne, oil and graphite on canvas, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1995 © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Soothsayer’s Recompense, oil on canvas, Philadelphia, PA, Museum of Art; © 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris, photo credit: Philadelphia Museum of Art/Art Resource, NY

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