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Giorgio De Chirico (1888-1978) was born in Greece to Italian parents. In 1906 he moved to Munich to study in Germany, where he came into contact with the most vibrant German culture of the time. He became interested in the philosophy of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Weininger and was very impressed by the symbolist and decadent painting of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger. In 1910 he moved to Paris where he became friends with the poets Valery and Apollinaire, but he remained a stranger to Cubism which, in those years thanks to Picasso, represented the great artistic novelty of Paris. He remained, however, always extraneous to the avant-garde, in which he often expressed polemical attitudes. In those years he painted many of his most famous paintings that go under the name of "Piazze d'Italia". They are images of architectural wings that define empty and silent spaces. There is the presence of a few statues and in the distance you can see trains passing by. The magical atmosphere of these images makes them look like dreamlike visions. In 1916, at the military hospital in Ferrara, De Chirico met Carrà, and together they developed the theory of metaphysical painting. The term metaphysics was born as an allusion to a different reality that goes beyond what we see when objects or spaces, which we know from our experience, seem to reveal a new aspect that surprises us. And so the things we know take on the appearance of enigmas, mysteries, inexplicable secrets. In this period, in addition to architectural spaces, mannequins also enter into dechirican subjects. This human form, although not human, lends itself very well to the absence of life that characterizes metaphysical painting. Indeed, in some ways it exalts it, given the visible contradiction between what seems human but is not. From 1918 to 1922 he actively participated in the life of "Valori Plastici", while in 1924 he returned to Paris where he frequented the Surrealist group. Although the Surrealists recognised De Chirico as one of their forerunners, the Italian painter never agreed to integrate himself into their poetics or style. What was foreign to him was above all that accentuation of the dreamlike dimension, made up of unconscious automatisms. Later on, his painting turned more and more to an archaeological classicism, where the use of mythologies was always interpreted in a metaphysical way, which however remained his main love. And he constantly returned to metaphysical painting in the following years, until he died in Rome in 1978, at the age of ninety.

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