He was born in Volos, Greece, the son of an Italian engineer. In 1900 he began studies at the Athens Polytechnic Institute. He moved to Munich, Milan, Florence and Paris where he associated with poets and painters. Because of the war, in 1915 de Chirico returned to Italy, where he met Filippo de Pisis in 1916 and Carlo Carra. In 1917 they founded Metaphysical painting. Although the movement was short-lived, it was perhaps the most original and important movement in the Italian art of the 20th century, and the highest point in de Chirico's painting career.
De Chirico's Metaphysical paintings were hugely influential on Surrealist artists, who recognized in them, the eloquent expression of the abstract, to which they themselves aspired. By the 1930s, however, de Chirico had moved to a more conventional form of expression. His great interest in archeology and history took the form of paintings full of horses, still-lifes, and portraits. The Surrealists, in particular, condemned his later work. De Chirico is represented in leading galleries throughout the world.
What do these paintings mean?
Learning art through great artists and their paintings is fun and exciting. Our friend and resident artist Stefan Mager has kindly given this introduction to the art world.