Born: 10 July 1888; Volos, Greece
Died: 20 November 1978; Rome, Italy
Active Years: 1909 - 1978
The founder of the Metaphysical art movement, Giorgio de Chirico was an Italian (Born in Volos,Greece)surrealist painter, whose work implied a metaphysical questioning of reality. After studying in Athens and Florence, he moved to Germany to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he was influenced by the writings of Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer. On his way to Paris, De Chirico traveled back to Florence and later to Turin, where he was moved by the metaphysical beauty of the surroundings. He exhibited his works at the Salon des Independants for the first time in 1913, and sold his first painting, the Red Tower, later signing with the art dealer Paul Guillame.
Upon the outbreak of the First World War, De Chirico returned to Italy, and enlisted for the military. However, he was considered unfit for combat and was assigned to work in a military hospital. During this time, he continued to paint in his unique metaphysical style. In the fall of 1919, De Chirico published an article in an art publication, in which he advocated for a return to the classical iconography by such masters as Raphael and Signorelli. He also openly criticized modern art and became an outspoken opponent of it.