Alberto Savinio

Alberto Savinio (Athens, 1891 - Rome, 1952), pseudonym of Andrea Francesco Alberto de Chirico, is an Italian painter and writer, brother of Giorgio de Chirico and as though him one of the founders of metaphysical art. In 1910 he moved to Paris, where he met the poet Guillaume Apollinaire and came into contact with the lively climate of the avant-garde with his brother, before enlist in 1915 and being moved to Ferrara. The meeting with Filippo de Pisis and Carlo Carrà is crucial for the birth of Metaphysics when, on the occasion of his transfer to Rome in 1919, he joins the group of "Valori Plastici" and becomes one of the greatest theorists of the "return to order": the latter current is created as a reaction to the First World War by re-proposing the values of classicism and of the figure, in open contrast with the experimentalism of the Avant-garde, as well as rediscovering the charm of the figure and traditional composition in illustrating classical repertoires and iconographies inside the canvases.

Savinio starts painting late: his first works (L'ile des charmes, 1928; Atlante, 1927, Annunciazione, 1932) are imbued with refined mythological themes combined with subtle irony, in an interesting middle ground between surrealism and metaphysics and are mentioned already in 1925 by Anton Giulio Bragaglia. If his brother Giorgio De Chirico focuses his poetics on melancholy, Savinio makes his themes (among the most recurring, the man-animal metamorphosis) a cultured research full of literary and musical symbolisms, fields in which the artist tries several times. In 1940 he exhibited at the Il Milione gallery in Milan and in 1943 the Galleria dello Zodiaco in Rome dedicated a personal exhibition of his drawings. In 1951 he was invited to the exhibition “Artisti d’Italia” organized at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, a year before his sudden death.

In 1954 the Biennale di Venezia dedicated a retrospective to him.

His works are conserved at the GAM of Turin, the MART of Trento and Rovereto, as well as at the Fine Arts Museum of Boston and the National Art Gallery of Washington.