Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more ROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)

Oreste e Pilade

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
Oreste e Pilade
signed 'G. de Chirico' (lower left); signed and inscribed 'Giorgio de Chirico Oreste e Pilade' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
36 ¼ x 25 in. (91.8 x 63.4 cm.)
Painted in 1960
Monte Titano Arte, San Marino, by whom acquired before 2000.
Galleria Russo, Rome.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Arte In, no. 54, March - April 1998 (illustrated on the cover).
'Le sue metafisiche', in Arte In, no. 82, p. 98, December 2002 – January 2003.
Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, ed., Giorgio de Chirico, Catalogo generale, Opere dal 1912 al 1976, vol. I, Rome, 2014, no. 342, p. 324 (illustrated).
Sao Paolo, Museu Brasileiro da Escultura Marilisa Rathsam, Giorgio de Chirico. Pinturas e esculturas, March - April 1998, no. 77, p. 134 (illustrated).
Catania, Galleria d'arte moderna de Le Ciminiere, Giorgio de Chirico, pitture, sculture, disegni e grafiche, November 1999 - January 2000, no. 45, p. 77.
Modena, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Giorgio de Chirico, Ritratti, figure e manichini fino alla Nuova Metafisica, December 2000 - February 2001, p. 64-65 (illustrated).
Potenza, Pinacoteca Provinciale, Giorgio de Chirico dalla Metafisica alla “Metafisica”, opere 1909-1973, October 2002 - January 2003, no. 37, p. 142 (illustrated p. 82).
Arezzo, Museo Civico d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Da Picasso a Botero: capolavori dell'Arte del Novecento, March - June 2004, p. 389 (illustrated p. 104).
Castellalto, Teramo, Borgo Medievale di Castelbasso, Giorgio de Chirico, Mito e mistero, July - August 2008, no. 57, p. 135 (illustrated p. 102).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

The Fondazione de Chirico has confirmed the authenticity of this work. It is recorded in the archives under the number 513/1997.

As early as 1911-12, de Chirico was already announcing how his Nietzschean philosophical approach to painting would pave the way to his so-called metaphysical paintings. Although painted in the late period of de Chirico’s œuvre, Oreste e Pilade, epitomises the core of the artist’s philosophy that he had introduced almost fifty years earlier. The composition with the two seated mannequins, who became the main protagonists in de Chirico’s imagery from as early as 1914, echoes one of his preferred subjects, that of the Archaeologists. Mannequins are faceless, featureless and inanimate figures, that served as the perfect substitute for human presence in the artist’s mind, in order for the human being to 'become a thing'.

Born in Greece from Italian parents, de Chirico had been impregnated with the vestiges of Antiquity, classical mythology, art and history, since a very early age. These memories and these references to civilisation’s Golden Age permeated throughout de Chirico’s œuvre, serving often as his signature architectural backdrops or, as in the present lot, as the main subject itself. Oreste e Pilade refers to one of Homer’s classical myths described in The Odyssey. Orestes had been sent away from his home to live with his cousin Pylades, whereas his mother Clytmenestra was having an affair with Aegisthus. When the two cousins learned about the death of Agamemnon, Orestes’ father, who was brutally murdered by his mother Clytmenestra, Orestes and Pylades plotted a way to seek revenge for Agamemnon leading them to ultimately kill Clytmenestra and her lover Aegisthus.

This particular subject of Orestes and Pylades was of particular interest for de Chirico, given its metaphysical dimension of the almost brotherly, and to some extent, erotic bond between the two cousins and its more metaphorical dimension of 'removing the function of man as a bearing', given that Orestes literally ‘removed’ his own family bearings by killing his mother and her lover.

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