Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico, Greek & Italian, was born in Volos in 1888 and died in Rome in 1978. He was a painter and theologist. His work is characterized by a visionary, poetic use of imagery, where themes such as nostalgia, enigma and myth are explored.
Throughout de Chirico's career, his style continuously altered, obscuring the continuity of his approach which was rooted in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.
Chirico moved to Paris in 1911 and was an important source of inspiration for artists throughout Europe in the inter-war years. Chirico's style drastically changed in 1919, when he became interested in traditional painting techniques. His style of painting altered to neoclassical, yet he frequently revisited metaphysical themes from his earlier work. He was as well inspiring for a new generation of painters in the 1980s.
Chirico was seen as the demiurgic artist that set the formation for modern mythology, yet in 1926 he was accused regressing in style to an anti-modernist.
He is known to be one of the founders of the scuola, or better known as the pittura metafisica, which occured prior to World War I. This art movement profoundly influenced the surrealists, yet de Chircico did not wish to identify with them. Chirico disappeard for some time in his studio and when he returned, the Surrealist had enscribed his name in capital letters on the history of Surrealism. Chirico understood this as a misunderstanding and stated he never went through a "Surrealist period". Rather, he stated that he "painted subjects that had nothing to do with naturalism".