No Italian painter of this century has aroused so much comment, from eulogy to outright condemnation, as Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978). One of the initiators of surrealism, he is a key figure in modern art; his influence on later painters, particularly during his “metaphysical” period, is vast. De Chirico relied on imagery from the unconscious to create art with mythological, philosophical, and historical overtones, so that his paintings have an appeal that is more that purely visual.

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