Born to Italian parents in Greece, Giorgio de Chirico was interested in the study of classical antiquity already as a teenager. In his later artistic creation, ancient statues became one of his leitmotifs, to which he referred particularly in his ‘metaphysical paintings’. The Phrygian cap in the present equestrian figure has been worn by the Phrygians and other Indo-European Anatolian peoples.
The sculpture is in good condition, showing a few small paint chippings and two small nicks to the left foot of the rider. The tip of one horse's ear was broken and has been fixed, here with small loss of material.
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
Born in Volos, Greece, and of Italian descent, Giorgio de Chirico was inspired from a young age by philosophy, European Symbolist art, and classical antiquity which would all thematically materialize throughout his creative career as a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, theatrical designer, and author. After studying at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Athens until 1906, de Chirico and his family moved to Munich, where he completed his training at the Academy of Fine Arts. He travelled widely between numerous Italian cities thereafter and made a pivotal trip to Paris in 1911, where he created and exhibited many important works, while meeting influential figures like Pablo Picasso and Apollinaire. After suffering a nervous breakdown during World War I, de Chirico created ‘metaphysical paintings’ with Carlo Carrà, which featured haunting juxtapositions of everyday objects in unfamiliar contexts. He had his first solo exhibition at the Casa d'Arte Bragaglia, Rome, in 1919, and his work was greatly admired by the new Surrealist members, who championed him as a precursor. He did not identify with them, however, and soon returned to a traditional style inspired by the masters in the early 1920’s. Characterized largely by a poetic sense of metaphor, enigma, and nostalgia, de Chirico’s works are included at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Tate Gallery, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. (cko)