The exhibition Giorgio de Chirico. Metaphysical Painting, which should have been held at the Musée de l’Orangerie from 1 April, postponed until 16 September, is available to you here, with a virtual tour based on a selection of fifteen works.
Art historian Paolo Baldacci designed the exhibition and was general curator, with Cécile Girardeau, curator at the Musée de l’Orangerie and Annabelle Görgen-Lammers, curator at the Hamburger Kunsthalle. It has been jointly organised by the Public Establishment of the Musée d'Orsay and Musée de l'Orangerie and the Hamburger Kunsthalle.
This virtual presentation has been made possible with the kind permission of the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico.
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), an artist born in Greece into a cosmopolitan Italian family of Ottoman origin, produced a unique and strange body of work. His unusual painting, described by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire as “metaphysical”, had a strong influence on modern art, from Picasso to Surrealism.
In his paintings, de Chirico poses the question of the visible. The spirit and mystery of the world that ancient peoples expressed in myths, did not, according to him, reside in an invisible beyond, but right in the tangible and material world, signs of which he strove to reveal.
Profoundly influenced by the ideas of Nietzsche, whose writings (Ecce Homo, Thus spoke Zarathustra) he read avidly from 1908, he developed a special approach to his own development on the fringes of the avant-garde movements based on the notion of the “eternal present” – a static moment suspended forever between the two eternities of the past and the future.
Having studied in Munich, and further inspired by his time spent in Florence, Turin and Milan, he stayed in Paris from 1911 to 1915, and at that time adopted numerous formal methods from the Parisian art scene – Cézanne, Matisse and Picasso. De Chirico then created a profoundly new art style based not on the appearance of objects but on the possible meanings and associations of ideas that these objects might arouse. He thus aimed to introduce into painting the poetic radicality of Rimbaud and the speculative revolution of Nietzsche.