• Impressionist Modern Day Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 2217

    Impressionist Modern Day Sale

    4 November 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 303

    Giorgio De Chirico (1888-1978)

    L'amore del mondo

    Price Realised  


    Giorgio De Chirico (1888-1978)
    L'amore del mondo
    signed and dated 'g. de Chirico 1960' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    28¾ x 23¾ in. (73 x 60.4 cm.)
    Painted in 1960

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    L'amore del mondo of 1960 is a reworking of an earlier painting entitled Le mauvais génie d'un roi of 1914-1915 and now in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Depicting almost identical scenes in which the details are executed skillfully and painstakingly, this work differs only from the earlier version in that de Chirico has introduced a mannequin, known as the troubadour, behind the vertical board which divides the composition asymmetrically, thought to be "originally inspired by a play written by de Chirico's brother in which the main protagonist is a 'man without voice, without eyes or face'" (On Classic Ground, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London, 1990, p. 81). The troubadour was an important hallmark and recurring motif in his more carefully gauged and meditated compositions of later years. "Hiding" behind the board, the troubadour; "...is afraid of feeling in his back or his side the piercing arrow of a glance, even a benevolent one" (de Chirico quoted in de Chrico by de Chirico, exh. cat., The New York Cultural Centre, New York, 1972).

    L'amore del mondo is one of the great paintings in a series of "metaphysical" works where importance is given to the reallocation of reality and where the still life vocabulary is usually fantastic and based on intuition. De Chirico aimed to take commonplace objects and buildings out of their natural environment with the idea of suggesting a counter reality which would communicate with the subconscious mind. "The artist likes what reminds him of certain visions that he has in his mind and in his instincts, and which are his secret world that nobody can take away from him" (de Chirico quoted in op. cit.).

    Underlying de Chirico's philosophy of the metaphysical still-lifes was the writings of Nietzsche. In his complete works he writes: "Art is above all and first of all meant to embellish life, to make us to ourselves endurable... Hence art must conceal or transfigure everything that is ugly... A man who feels with himself a surplus of such powers of embellishment, concealment and transfiguration will finally seek to unburden himself of this surplus in works of art" (F. Nietzsche, Human, "All-Too-Human," Part Two," in Dr. O. Levy, ed., The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche, New York, 1911, pp. 91-92).


    Mr. and Mrs. Boss, Zurich (acquired from the artist).
    Banque du Gothard, Lausanne.
    Artcurial, Paris.
    Private collection, France (acquired from the above, circa 1986-1987); sale, Christie's, London, 29 June 2000, lot 331.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Giorgio de Chirico, exh. cat., Haus der Kunst, Munich, 1982, p. 32 (illustrated, fig. 31).
    C. Bruni Sakraischik, Catalogo Generale Giorgio de Chirico, opere dal 1951 al 1972***, Milan, 1972, vol. IV, no. 617 (illustrated).