DE CHIRICO: The Metaphysical Period

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9780821224991: DE CHIRICO: The Metaphysical Period
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De Chirico: The Metaphysical Period is the most authoritative source on the formative years and period of greatest achievement in the career of Giorgio de Chirico, one of the masters of twentieth-century art.
Beginning around 1909, Giorgio de Chirico projected in his paintings an irrational, dreamlike world of empty classical cityscapes populated by statues, shadows, and familiar objects isolated or mysteriously juxtaposed. This Metaphysical Painting, as he called it, was seized on by the Surrealists in the 1920s and has continued to haunt our imagination. Paolo Baldacci's monograph reveals the many biographical elements of de Chirico's mysterious work, devoting particular attention to his most critically acclaimed period, 1909-19.

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The warm colors and familiar icons in the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico are deceptively soothing. The varying lines of perspective, blurring of indoor and outdoor space, and the coupling of ancient images with turn-of-the-century industry are both vaguely familiar and certainly disconcerting, evocative of being lost in a city or wandering through a stranger's home. Vacant plazas, shadowy arcades, and lonely statues are the eerie edges of dreams that are lost in the morning. Even de Chirico's most standard still lifes are ambient and consuming.

De Chirico's complete early work, that of his "metaphysical period," is gathered in this generously sized volume from Bulfinch Press. The work from museums and private collections from around the world illustrates critical exposition as well as exhaustive documentation (three pages of notes for a 20-page chapter) of de Chirico's training and production. The catalog overflows with color entries and black-and-white supplementary illustrations of family, friends, places, influential works, and drawing studies that contributed to the evolution of the painter and his masterpieces. The book's author, Paolo Baldacci, writes in his introduction that "practically all of the paintings executed from 1908-09 to the summer of 1914 are fundamental for understanding the various phases of de Chirico's aesthetic development. The works of these crucial years, rich in symbolism and dense with thought, cast in pictorial form a vast conception of the world, of life, and of art drawn from de Chirico's intensive reading of Nietzsche, Leopardi, Schopenhauer, and Heraclitus." --Manine Golden

About the Author:

Paolo Baldacci was formerly a professor of ancient history at the University of Milan.

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