Giorgio de Chirico: Endless Journey

Giorgio de Chirico: Endless Journey

by Wieland Schmied, Giorgio Chirico
     
 

Giorgio de Chirico's idiosyncratic symbolic style had a powerful influence on 20th-century art, and in particular on Surrealism. His strange dreamscapes, featuring classical statues, Italian piazzas, sinister shadows, geometric objects, and mannequins are filled with enigma. This richly illustrated book focuses on the artist's mysterious and fascinating… See more details below

Overview

Giorgio de Chirico's idiosyncratic symbolic style had a powerful influence on 20th-century art, and in particular on Surrealism. His strange dreamscapes, featuring classical statues, Italian piazzas, sinister shadows, geometric objects, and mannequins are filled with enigma. This richly illustrated book focuses on the artist's mysterious and fascinating representations of the human form and describes how events and friendships in his life influenced his artistic development.

At a young age Chirico was deeply impressed by Arnold Boecklin's painting of Odysseus on the island of Calypso. De Chirco appropriated Boecklin's Odysseus for his own paintings, at first with little modification, then pushing it ever further into the background until it appeared only as a shadow. The author explains how the figure underwent numerous additional alterations in later paintings before returning to centerstage as the famous "manichino" figure, the faceless tailor's dummy.

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) studied at the Polytechnic in Athens and the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste in Munich. He was strongly influenced by German philosophy and Symbolist art. In his Metaphysical paintings he created a dreamlike atmosphere through unusual light effects and enigmatic objects, and in his later work he returned to a more conventional figurative style.


About the Author

Wieland Schmied is President of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. He is the author of numerous works on 20th-century art, including Francis Bacon and Edward Hopper: Portraits of America (both by Prestel).

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The work of Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was a source of wonder and influence for the artists of his time and continues to inspire artists today. These two books examine the mythical themes that run through his works. The larger work, by Taylor (assistant curator, Philadelphia Museum of Art), which accompanies the exhibition in London and Philadelphia (which ended January 5), presents de Chirico's paintings of the Ariadne myth and considers his lifelong obsession with this haunting tale. The book emphasizes his impact on the artistic and philosophical world, especially the surrealists, who first lionized and later shunned him. Essays include a previously unpublished piece by Max Ernst that touchingly describes the loneliness and self-destructiveness of the artist. With excellent illustrations (55 of 180 in color), a selected bibliography, and the use of primary resource materials, this book is a fine contribution to the literature. Schmied, an art historian who knew de Chirico toward the end of the artist's life, maps the evolution of the human figure and its placement in the dreamlike settings of the paintings. His investigation interweaves the works of de Chirico, Arnold Becklin, and Max Ernst and inquires into the literary and philosophical world of the surrealists, especially Apollinaire (the subject of a portrait by de Chirico). Schmied intersperses commentaries upon specific paintings, always with the aim of explicating the transformation of the human figure. This interesting look at one aspect of the artist's life, written with insight and care, provides more questions than answers. Current literature shows a paucity of materials on de Chirico, and much older work is out of print. Thus, both of these titles are recommended for collections of modern art in large academic and public collections.-Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9783791327945
Publisher:
Prestel Publishing
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Series:
Pegasus Library
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.41(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >