Italy’s squares in Giorgio de Chirico’s works

We have selected a series of metaphysical squares by Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), the great painter and sculptor whose house-museum we visited in Piazza di Spagna.

Art critic Maurizio Calvesi has stated, “Italian squares were De Chirico’s overarching figurative theme in his metaphysical period.”

According to Calvesi, all the typical themes of his painting recur in these works: “infinity, loneliness, time, mystery and enigma, deserted streets, silent squares dominated by equestrian monuments as if a shadow had been cast on them, statues that embody suspense and waiting, omens, clairvoyant eyes, and figures cloaked in black looking thoughtfully towards the horizon” (translated from “De Chirico”, Giunti, Florence, 1988).

Mario De Micheli once explained that De Chirico’s painting “is born from the memory of classical and 19th-century Italian architecture in an atmosphere of lucid and static nonsense. Solitude, silence, vanishing points, spatial illusions, clear-cut shadows printed on smooth, paved streets, shaded porches, ancient skies, sharp volumes, solitary statues and sometimes a form of life […] suspended, wrapped in an impalpable veil that separates it from rest of the world” (translated from “Avanguardie artistiche del Novecento”, Feltrinelli, Milan 1988).

Now let’s visit De Chirico’s squares, for a metaphysical taste of Italy.

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square" 1953

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square", 1962

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square", 1915

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"La matinée angoissante", 1912, Museo d'arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square"

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"The Farewell of a Friend Who is Leaving to the Friend Who is Staying", 1950

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square", 1914

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Enigma of a Day", 1914

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square", 1959

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italian Square", 1960

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italy's Square with Cavour Statue", 1974

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"Italy's Square with Horse", 1970s

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's squares

"The Red Tower", 1913, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's square

"Piazza d'Italia", 1953

Giorgio de Chirico, Piazze d'Italia - Italy's square

"Mystery and Malinconia of a Street", 1914

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