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De Chirico in Ferrara. Metaphysics and avant-garde

From 14 November 2015 to 28 February 2016

Metaphysical painting and European avant-garde

Palazzo dei Diamanti

On the centenary of De Chirico’s arrival in the Este city, Palazzo dei Diamanti is to stage a grand exhibition in celebration of this vital moment in the history of 20th century art. An important collection of De Chirico’s paintings from his Ferrara years are to be echoed by works inspired by the metaphysical painting of Carlo Carrà, Giorgio Morandi and Filippo de Pisis along with several masterpieces of the biggest artists of the European avant-garde, including Raoul Hausmann, George Grosz, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí and Max Ernst, all of whom were fascinated by his unique style and his capacity to illustrate the impenetrable mystery of things on canvas.

 

Giorgio de Chirico’s painting won over some of the biggest surrealist artists and had an extraordinary influence on twentieth-century art. De Chirico was the ingenious creator of metaphysical painting, one of the most important artistic trends of the modern era, thanks to which the riddles of existence take shape through suspended atmospheres pervaded with uncertainties.


De Chirico’s saw a radical shift when he arrived in Ferrara in 1915, having left Paris after the outbreak of the First World War, spending three and a half years in the Este city carrying out military service.

Overcome with emotion upon encountering the beauty and the Renaissance mysticism of the city, De Chirico painted a surreal world filled with wonders:

piazzas immersed in fantastic sunsets or secret rooms with breathtaking views formed the backdrop to enigmatic objects discovered wandering among alleys of the ghetto, or became the setting for recitals with tailor’s dummies and mute, faceless characters. 

It was in Ferrara that the artist met Carlo Carrà and began to call his paintings “metaphysical” and it was the works he produced here that became true icons of modernity and which would have a profound influence on both contemporary Italian art and international movements such as Dadaism, Surrealism and New Objectivity.

 

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