Analysis Of Giorgio De Chirico And Metaphysical Painting
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Giorgio de Chirico and Metaphysical Painting: Unwitting Precursors of Surrealism
Surrealism was a 20th century art movement whose proponents dedicated themselves to translating their unconscious into art objects. In this essay I will argue that the cultural work accomplished by Giorgio de Chirico’s Piazza d’Italia and his metaphysical painting style is to be precursors of the surrealism movement, whether de Chirico likes it or not. The metaphysical painting style is similar in form to the “dream-transcription” sub-category of surrealist painting, as well as similar in subject matter (D’Souza). Although de Chirico came to dislike his early career paintings and surrealism, foundational surrealists such as André Breton and Paul Éluard were known to collect and admire his early work (Holman). Breton even declared de Chirico to be a “signpost pointing to surrealism” (“CHIRICO”).
The subject matter of both metaphysical paintings and surrealist paintings is the same: the artist’s unconscious. De Chirico said about metaphysical painting that its purpose was to give metaphysical meaning to every day object by relating them to other unexpected objects; thus he inadvertently portrayed the “cluttered attic of his unconscious” (“CHIRICO”). André Breton, to defend the existence and contribution of visual arts to the surrealism movement, exalted the visual arts capacity to “serve the larger goals of revealing the unconscious in representation, dismantle the opposition between the real and