Metaphysical Art

Metaphysical Art

Metaphysical Art was an early twentieth-century Italian art movement known for its dream-like depictions of mysterious arcaded squares.

Metaphysical Art, a movement born from the Italian term Pittura Metafisica, was founded by Giorgio de Chirico and the former futurist Carlo Carra in the northern Italian city of Ferrara. Employing a realist style, they depicted squares reminiscent of typical Italian cityscapes. However, these squares appeared eerily vacant, featuring unusual combinations of objects and statues. This artistic approach crafted a visionary realm of the mind, transcending physical reality and earning the movement its name.

Technically, the movement only thrived during the brief period of 1917 when De Chirico and Carra collaborated. De Chirico subsequently altered his style the following year. Nevertheless, the term is commonly used to encompass all of De Chirico's work from around 1911, when he initially developed what came to be known as Pittura Metafisica. His painting 'The Uncertainty of the Poet' from 1913 serves as a quintessential example of this style.

Pittura Metafisica had a profound influence, particularly on the development of the dream-like and surrealistic painting, notably exemplified in the works of Max Ernst.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.