copertina sidebar 14-16


Metaphysical Interior with Hand of David, 1968

Metaphysical Interior with Hand of David, 1968

Oil on canvas, 79.5 x 59.5 cm

From 1968 to 1976, de Chirico’s elaboration of themes from his first metaphysical period led to the reinvention and combination of a variety of subjects, giving form to a period known as Neometaphysical Art. In this painting, a number of elements from various phases of his metaphysical vocabulary are placed side by side. The interior of the room is presented in a tilted perspective, with a heap of set-squares and rulers from the Ferrara period of 1915-18 stacked in the centre. Elements from the Mysterious Baths theme of the 1930s are also present, such as the coloured beach ball immersed in the parquet, as if floating on the surface of water.

It is significant that the artist chose to represent the right hand of Michelangelo’s David at the very centre of the composition. As such, it takes on the role of protagonist of the painting –, and recalls the importance of de Chirico’s reflection on the ‘museum’.

Maurizio Calvesi observed that the two architectural volute framing David’s hand seem like “arches taken from Apollo’s lyre or from a Baroque stage-set, which the artist has positioned like quotation marks around his own inventions” (De Chirico: la Nuova Metafisica, 1995, p. 17). The two sinuous elements, which also bring to mind the swans of the Mysterious Baths theme, are yet another of the imaginative creations that characterise the Neometaphysical period. In this painting, the de Chirico alludes to both to his own art and to the art of the Great Masters, to that very museum to which his own works now belong, with self-irony and in a postmodern key, as has been rightly pointed out. (S.V.)


(Original title: Interno metafisico con mano di David, 1968, Inv. 29)