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  Italian edition

Giorgio de Chirico – Portraiture: Figure and Form

8 June to 30 September 2013 – extended to 3 November
Fortezza poliziana, Montepulciano, Tuscany
Curated by Katherine Robinson
Mostra organised by Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte in collaboration with Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico
Self-portrait in Armour, 1948, tempera and oil on canvas, 50×40 cm                                                            
Giorgio de Chirico – Portraiture: Figure and Form presents works from the Collection of Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico. The exhibition focuses on portraiture and self-portraiture with a group paintings, sculptures and works on paper representing some of de Chirico’s most famous themes, from his classical painting to the revisited subjects of his Neometaphysical period such as the Mannequin and the Archaeologists. “The project – explains the curator – intends to explore the role the human (or humanised) figure plays in the iconographical universe of Giorgio de Chirico, an artist who, by going beyond the traditional theme of portraiture, brings us closer to the mystery of existence”.
The Exhibition
The genre of portraiture aligns itself within a variety of thematic periods of Giorgio de Chirico’s work: the discovery of Metaphysical Art in 1910 and the first self-portraits “at the window” of Renaissance origin, the classical and romantic portraiture of the early 1920s and the luminous naturalism of the 1930s, right up to the figures of the late Neometaphysical period (1968-1976).

On his first self-portrait de Chirico wrote: “Et quid amabo nisi quod aenigma est?” (“And what shall I love, if not that which is enigma?”) an event constituting a manifesto of his artistic intent. The theme of the Italian Piazza saw the invention of the Mannequin, an oval-headed figure without facial features yet permeated with universal and eternal significance.

The works chosen from the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico Collection cover a period of fifty years from 1925 to 1976. The exhibition develops two principal themes: the “classical” portrait and the “fantastical” figure with works that open the perspective on various subjects, styles and settings that intertwine and complement one another. The first comprises of self-portraits and portraits of women that focus on the relationship between figure and nature, individual and history, and old Master pastiches. The second includes a group of paintings, sculptures and watercolours pertaining to the artist’s most well known themes: the Mannequin, the Muses, the Troubadour, the Archaeologist and the mythological character in the characteristic contexts of the Italian Piazza and the Metaphysical Interior with their distinctive theatrical settings.

The exhibition presents a key to the reading of Giorgio de Chirico’s life and oeuvre: a “portrait” of the artist seen by way of his most celebrated figures and through the story of his personal relationships, with portraits of his first wife Raissa and his second wife, Isabella, and even a small portrait of Baby, a much loved pet.

The exhibition is held in the Hall of the Poliziana Fortress of Montepulciano under the architectural design of Federico Lardera and enjoys the support of the Municipality of Montepulciano, the Province of Siena and the local Rotary Club.  In Montepulciano this summer, art enthusiasts, scholars and visitors will thus be given an opportunity to delve into a unique aspect of the work of Giorgio de Chirico, an artist who held that: “portraiture, a somewhat unadventurous subject, is superseded by a sense of surprise and discovery”.
The bilingual Italian/English exhibition catalogue is published by Maretti Editore.
Opening 8 June – 30 September
Monday 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. / Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (last entrance 21:15 p.m.)
Adults: €7
Students under 25: €5
Youths under 12: free
tickets online
Guided tours: tel +39 (0) 578757007