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.