Giorgio De Chirico (Volos, 1888 - Rome, 1978) was Italian painter, one of the most relevant artistic figures of the twentieth century and founder of Metaphysical painting with Carlo Carrà.
The first works painted in Munich around 1908 were inspired by the art of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger, exponents of German Symbolism, in the choice of themes drawn from classical mythology (Triton and Mermaid, 1909; The departure of the Argonauts, 1909): this research, focused on adding to his paintings the sense of a secret melancholy perceived in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, guides the birth of his first Metaphysical work, L'énigme d'un après-midi d'automne in 1910.
The following year, he moves to Paris to join his brother Andrea (later known as Alberto Savinio). The new context led him to the immersion in an environment of great incentives and his first two exhibitions, at the 1912's Salon d'Autoumne and the Salon des Indépendants of 1913, are crucial in establishing contacts with the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who will take care of the first critical text, and with the art dealer Paul Guillaume, who will offer him in 1914 the first contract for his artistic production. Thanks to his connection with the Stieglitz Gallery, the paintings of de Chirico and Savinio began to be known in the United States even before1915, when they both enlisted in the army. Instanced in Ferrara, de Chirico met Filippo de Pisis and Carlo Carrà, with whom he published the theoretical foundations of Metaphysical painting on the magazine Valori Plastici.
In 1921 he exhibited in Berlin and returned to Paris: the paintings of this period, during which he studied archeology, explored the metaphysics of light and the Mediterranean myth, giving rise to themes such as archaeologists, horses by the sea, trophies, landscapes in the room, forniture in the valley and gladiators. During this years he also creates scenes and costumes for Pirandello's La Giara at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and for the ballet Le Bal, produced by Serge Diaghilev's Russian Ballets. De Chirico's contacts with the exponents of Surrealism movement, for which he had become the main inspirer, broke up when they publicly criticize this last production; in return, however, de Chirico becomes close to Mario Tozzi, Massimo Campigli, Alberto Magnelli and Gino Severini, all Italian artists which were operating in Paris and with whom he will exhibit in 1932 at La Biennale di Venezia.
The international success of the artist continues to grow on the occasion of the solo exhibition held at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1940 and the creation of a dining room at the Decorators Picture Gallery in New York in which also Picasso and Matisse took part. In 1948 de Chirico was also appointed as a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. The first terracotta sculptures date back to the second half of the thirties, then cast in bronze around the end of the sixties, which take up his favorite subjects by returning them in three dimensions (Gli Archeologi, 1966; Le Muse Inquietanti, 1970; Ettore e Andromaca, 1971).
The most important and complete anthology of those years dedicated to de Chirico's work was held in 1970 in Milan, at Palazzo Reale, but it is from abroad that important prizes and awards continued arriving, as well as other anthologies organized in the most important cities of the world. After the artist's death in 1978 the numbers of exhibition dedicated to him raise and finally the undisputed success of the critics arrives in Italy too.
His works are displayed in the most important museums of the world: from MoMA in New York to the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
In 2009 the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. collaborated with the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris to realize the exhibition "Giorgio de Chirico. La fabrique des reves ", the most complete retrospective so far ever made on his work. In 2013 on the occasion of the Italian Year of Culture to the United States and in collaboration with the Italian Minestry of Foreigns Affairs and with the Italian Embassy in Washington D.C., Maggiore g.a.m. curated and promoted the exhibition "Myth and Archeology in the work of Giorgio de Chirico" in the prestigious Phillips Collection of Washington DC, also highlighting the sculptural production and re-reading the work of de Chirico in a contemporary key thanks to an interview made by the then director of the MAMbo in Bologna, Gianfranco Maraniello, together with the Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli.