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Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)

Apparizione della ciminiera

Details
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
Apparizione della ciminiera
signed and dated 'G. de Chirico 1917' (upper left)
oil on canvas
32 x 21 3/8 in. (81.3 x 54.3 cm.)
Painted circa 1939-1944
Provenance
Private collection, Milan, by 1950.
Galleria dell'Annunciata, Milan, by 1970 (no. 4255).
Private collection, by whom acquired from the above in the 1970s; sale, Bonhams, New York, 14 November 2017, lot 33, where acquired by the present owner.
Literature
E. Montù, Masterpieces of Modern Italian Art, Milan, 1950 (illustrated; titled 'Paesaggio metafisico'; dated '1914'; with inverted dimensions).
M. Carrà, P. Waldberg & E. Rathke, La metafisica, Milan, 1968 (illustrated fig. VI).
M. Carrà, P. Waldberg & E. Rathke, Metaphysical Art, London, 1971, p. 209 (illustrated fig. VI, p. 150; dated '1917').
P. Waldberg, Les demeures d'hypnos, Paris, 1976, pp. 81 & 496 (illustrated p. 81; dated '1917').
M. Di Carlo et al., Giorgio De Chirico 1920-1950, Milan, 1990, p. 155.
M. Fagiolo dell'Arco, I Bagni Misteriosi: De Chirico Negli Anni Trenta: Parigi, Italia, New York, Milan, 1991, no. 40, p. 333 (illustrated).
M. Fagiolo dell'Arco, Giorgio de Chirico: Gli anni Trenta, Milan, 1995, no. 40, p. 333 (illustrated).
Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, eds., Giorgio de Chirico: Catalogo Generale, vol. I, Opere dal 1912 al 1976, Falciano, 2014, no. 183, p. 457 (illustrated p. 189; dated 'early 1940s').
Exhibited
Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Giorgio de Chirico, July - August 1970, no. 34, p. 64 (illustrated p. 40; dated 'circa 1917').
Genoa, Palazzo dell'Accedemia & Palazzo Reale, Immagine per la città, April - June 1972, no. 57, pp. 249, 370 (illustrated p. 274; dated '1917').
Berlin, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Die industrialisierung der Stadt, July - August 1978, no. 15 (illustrated; dated '1917').
New York, Borghi & Co, Giorgio de Chirico 1920 - 1950, November 1990 - January 1991.
Special notice

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Olivier Camu
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Lot Essay

Apparizione della ciminiera (Apparition of the Chimney) is a work long thought to have belonged to de Chirico’s first metaphysical period between 1910 and 1919 but now believed to date from the years of 1939-44. During this wartime period, de Chirico was living in self-imposed obscurity in Florence with Isabella Pakszwer Far, the Russian Jewish woman who soon afterwards was to become his wife. Apparizione della ciminiera is a comparatively rare example from this dramatic period in that it shows de Chirico revisiting his much-celebrated earlier style of working in order to create an entirely new ‘metaphysical’ composition. Normally, in his revistations of his own past, de Chirico would rework new versions of famous old compositions, such as his Disquieting Muses, Piazza d’Italia or Hector and Andromache paintings. Here, however, it seems, that de Chirico has created an entirely new composition. One that, with its elongated colonnades and ‘surprising’ chimney is reminiscent of earlier pictures like The Anxious Journey of 1913 (Museum of Modern Art, New York), or The Surprise of 1914, (Williams College Museum of Art, Massachusetts).

Because he believed time to be not just relative but also wholly arbitrary to the concept of poetry or painting, and because many Surrealists, with whom he had fallen out, were seeking throughout the 1930s to sabotage everything but his earliest work, it was de Chirico’s common practice in such later ‘metaphysical’ paintings to back date them. This work is no exception. It has, in fact, been double-dated by the artist as being made in both 1916 and 1917. What distinguishes it as a work not from this first metaphysical period but somewhat later is the Cubist-like collation of arches that, Piranesi-like, form a bizarre and impossible architectural construction of form at the base of the painting. These arches, along with some of the rest of the architecture in the painting appear to echo something of the atmosphere of the neo-classical architecture Mussolini commissioned in the 1930s for the EUR district in Rome.

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