Reading de Chirico

4 Oct 2017 – 12 Jan 2018

Tornabuoni Art London

London, United Kingdom


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The paintings of Giorgio de Chirico are among the most iconic of Italian 20th century art, but few know about the artist’s proli c literary legacy.


In an unprecedented exhibition, Tornabuoni Art is exhibiting over 25 works spanning the artist’s entire career, alongside original manuscripts that o er unique insight into the pictorial world of Giorgio de Chirico. 

The exhibition, curated by Katherine Robinson, member of the scienti c committee of the Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation in Rome, will be divided into nine sections, each representing a di erent theme explored by the artist throughout his career: Italian Piazzas, Metaphysical Interiors, Portraits and Self-Portraits, Still Lifes, Mannequins, Horses and Horsemen, Gladiators, Mythology and Mysterious Baths. This unique exhibition and the accompanying scholarly catalogue include theoretical and critical essays, poems, prose and love letters, enabling visitors to nd a new reading of de Chirico’s famous works through his own words. The show also sheds light on the artist’s unusual artistic career, which began with the more radical and much admired metaphysical period and evolved into a more “baroque”, painterly style.

The show includes important loans such as the masterpiece The Revolt of the Sage, 1916 and one of the rst drawings of the Piazze d’Italia from the Estorick Collection in London. These key works will be exhibited alongside writings in de Chirico’s own hand, including excerpts from Hebdomeros, a novel written by the artist in 1929 that reveals much of his creative universe. Other highlights include a 2.5 metre-long painting of Divinities by the Sea (1936) and a Nude from 1930, which Tornabuoni is proud to announce has recently been identi ed as a portrait of de Chirico’s lover Cornelia.

Reading de Chirico will be accompanied by an original scholarly catalogue, published by Forma Edizioni, Florence, and edited by Katherine Robinson with texts by Dr. Gavin Parkinson, Senior Lecturer in 20th century European Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and an expert in Surrealism. This publication includes a selection of the artist’s writings (1919-1945), among which two essays on Italian artists Gaetano Previati and Vicenzo Gemito have been translated into English for the very rst time for the occasion. The catalogue will be presented by the authors at the Courtauld Institute on 10 October 2017 during a panel discussion. 

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Exhibiting artists

Giorgio de Chirico


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