Giorgio De Chirico

Giuseppe Maria Alberto Giorgio de Chirico was born in Volo, capital of Thessaly, in Greece, on 10 July 1888 from Italian parents belonging to the nobility: father Evaristo (son of the Palermo baron Giorgio Filigone de Chirico) was a railway engineer, among the main implementers of the first rail network in Bulgaria and Greece; the mother was the baroness of Genoese origin Gemma Cervetto. Both parents were born in Constantinople. In 1891 Adelaide his eldest sister died and in Athens his brother Andrea Alberto was born, who from 1914 will assume the pseudonym of Alberto Savinio for his activity as a musician, writer and painter. For the first seventeen years of his life he lived in Greece between Flight and Athens, in fact he learned the modern Greek. In 1896 the family returned from Athens to Volo and de Chirico took the first drawing lessons from the Greek painter Mavrudis, later by the painter and soldier Carlo Barbieri and the Swiss Jules-Louis Gilliéron. In 1899 he briefly attended the Leonino Lyceum in Athens and then returned to study at home with private teachers: he studied Italian, German, French and music. In 1900 Giorgio enrolled at the Athens Polytechnic to undertake the study of painting (in those years he will paint the first still life). In 1906, together with his brother and his mother, he left Greece for Italy, where he visited Milan and moved to Florence attending the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. In 1907 he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich; in that period he met the art of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger.
In the summer of 1909 he moved to Milan, where his mother and brother already lived; at the beginning of 1910 he went to Florence together with his mother where he painted his first metaphysical square, the Enigma of an autumn afternoon, born after a revelation that he had in Piazza Santa Croce. From 1911 to 1915 de Chirico lived in Paris, where his brother Alberto lived, he participated in the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants and frequented the main artists of the time such as Guillame Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Pablo Picasso. It was above all the frequentation with Apollinaire to influence it. He then began to make paintings with a safer style. He underwent the influence of Paul Gauguin, from whom the first representations of the squares of Italy took shape.

Between 1912 and 1913 his fame spread, even if he still did not get an adequate economic advantage. In this period he began to paint his first mannequins. In the Parisian years, Giorgio performed some of the fundamental pictorial works for the 20th century. At the outbreak of the First World War the de Chirico brothers enrolled volunteers and were sent to Ferrara, where they were admitted to the seminary's villa. After an initial period of disorientation due to the change of city, Giorgio renewed his activity, did not paint larger sunny squares but still lifes with geometric symbols, biscuits and breads. In this period in Ferrara the de Chirico came into contact with Carlo Carrà, also here hospitalized, and Filippo de Pisis, of whom they will often be guests in the eclectic apartment occupied by them in the Calcagnini palace, in via Montebello where the Tibertelli family de At the time Pisis lived in rent by Count Giovanni Grosoli, who most likely very much affects the metaphysical sensitivity of the two brothers.
In 1924 and 1932 he participated in the Venice Biennale and in 1935 at the Rome Quadriennale.

In 1936 and 1937 he settled in New York, where the Julien Levy Gallery exhibited his works. He also collaborated with major fashion magazines of the time, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and worked as interior decorator, for example creating a dining room at the Decorators Picture Gallery along with Picasso and Matisse.

In the fifties his painting was characterized by self-portraits in baroque costume and the views of Venice. In the meantime he collaborated in various magazines and newspapers, among which Il Meridiano d'Italia by Franco Servello (on which he started a polemic against Picasso and modernism), Candido, Il Giornale d'Italia.

In 1944 he moved to Rome, in Piazza di Spagna, where he also had his atelier. In the sixties he worked in his studio Massimiliano Fuksas. He died in Rome on November 20, 1978 at the end of a long illness. A few months before, his ninetieth birthday had been celebrated in the Capitol. His sepulcher is in a chapel dedicated to him in the church of San Francesco a Ripa: here is the tomb of the venerable Antoninus Natoli da Patti, of whom the painter was a devotee and benefactor of the Order of Friars Minor. There are exhibited three works donated by the widow Isabella Pakszwer: a self-portrait, the veiled Woman with the appearance of his wife and the Fall of Christ.

Works of Giorgio De Chirico


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