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Giorgio de Chirico: ‘The Enigma of the World’

February 24, 2016 – May 8, 2016

The Pera Museum, Meşrutiyet Cad 65, Tepebaşı, Beyoğlu, Istanbul


The Pera Museum is yet again highlighting another extraordinary 20th-century artist – this spring the work of Giorgio de Chirico will be on view for the first time in Istanbul. A pioneer of the metaphysical art movement, de Chirico served as a source of inspiration for the surrealists. The exhibition, which was organised in collaboration with the Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation in Rome, comprises a broad selection of 70 paintings, two lithography series and ten sculptures.

It is especially exciting to see de Chirico’s work being displayed in Istanbul, as it is the birthplace of the artist’s father, Evaristo, a railway engineer and 19th-century gentleman. Evaristo’s father, Giorgio Maria (whom the artist would be named after), was working as a dragoman, or diplomatic interpreter, for the Sublime Porte, which is how the family ended up in Istanbul.

During the years he studied at the Munich Academy of Fine arts between 1906 and 1909, de Chirico was influenced by the works of philosophers such as Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Otto Weininger, as well as the art of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger. This led in part to his influential writings and works on the ‘metaphysical’, which were a source in inspiration for the surrealists. The exhibition, which also includes one of the earliest pieces (1909) by the artist, encompasses a large selection of works extending particularly from the 1920s until the mid-1970s.


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