Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
De Chirico was born in Greece to Italian parents. He studied painting in Athens, Florence and Munich, where he was influenced by the Symbolists. His early images combined Italian piazzas and classical statuary with long shadows and discomforting perspectives. The dream-like quality of these works, with their illogical juxtapositions of objects, was of monumental significance to the Surrealists of the early 1920s.

De Chirico met Carrà in Ferrara during the First World War and together they formed the short-lived Scuola metafisica. Moving to Rome, de Chirico became increasingly dedicated to a belief in the importance of Classicism and technical precision, criticising other artists for their lack of academic grounding. He found inspiration in classical myths and began to make copies of Old Masters, which he exhibited side by side with his Metaphysical works, his style becoming increasingly baroque. His later years were fraught with controversy as he made numerous copies of his Metaphysical works, sometimes predating them.

Giorgio de Chirico, Revolt of the Sage, 1916 ©DACS 2007