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).