Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
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Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)

Gentiluomo in villeggiatura

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
Gentiluomo in villeggiatura
signed 'g. de Chirico' (lower left)
oil on canvas
39 1/2 x 29 3/4 in. (100.2 x 75.5 cm.)
Painted in 1964
Franco Schreiber collection, Turin.
Private collection, Milan.
C. Bruni Sakraischik, Catalogo Generale Giorgio De Chirico, vol. III, Opere dal 1951 al 1971, Milan, 1973, no. 416 (illustrated).
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.


Closely linked to the Trovatore series, Gentiluomo in villeggiatura is an emblematic example of de Chirico's 'New-Metaphysical' style. At the centre of the picture, a colourfully adorned nobleman-type, more human than the traditional Trovatore, yet still clearly part mannequin, his head expressionless, with arms seemingly made of biscuits - another recurring motif since the early Metaphysical period - and his armour reminiscent of his designs for Diaghilev's Ballets russes of the late 1920s. He stands alone before a white picket fence, an unexplainably miniature horse and some maps and a small castle on the green ground. The confident contrapposto stance and the unsheathed sword behind him mock the high aspirations of this creature, apparent lord of a miniature noble estate.

The Gentiluomo mannequin is a unique character, compared with the traditional Trovatore that appeared more frequently through de Chirico’s career. The Gentiluomo is invested with a greater sense of life absent from the mechanical Trovatore and the early Metaphysical works in general. The insertion of the biscuits are elements of reality, reproduced in a most tactile fashion and hark back to his Ferrara period. The colours have been given a new brightness and the light of the scene has become warmer. The darkening sky is here substituted with a patterned background, reminiscent of a stage set, the vertical pattern swirling downwards like the folds of the stage curtain.

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