Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico
In 1941 the first version of this book was published as The Early Chirico. It was concerned with de Chirico's career from 1910 through 1917 and reproduced seventy of his paintings from that period.
The present version of the book has been entirely rewritten and differs from the other in many respects. The painter with whose work it deals is referred to throughout as "de Chirico" rather than as "Chirico," the name by which he was internationally known, with his own assent, for almost thirty years. More recently, however, de Chirico has returned to his native Italy and there is widely known by his full name, most particularly as the founder of the scuola metafisica, one of the two most influential movements in twentieth-century Italian art, the other being Futurism. Now that de Chirico again paints in Italy rather than in Paris, it seems appropriate to use the name by which his countrymen refer to him. I have a more personal reason for doing so. Reviewing The Early Chirico in Fiera Letteraria for January 30, 1947, the artist wrote: "Let Signor Soby understand that my name is Giorgio de Chirico and not Chirico." Any man if he prefers is entitled to the name with which he was christened, even though to the world he is better known by another.
The review of The Early Chirico I have just mentioned was scathing in its denunciation. But it seems significant that at no point in the review did the painter question the authenticity of any of the seventy pictures reproduced, though this would have been the most damaging charge he could have made. I should add that since the recent war de Chirico in conversations with reporters and friends is said to have disclaimed two or sometimes three of the seventy early paintings. But one of these he has since authenticated in writing and his opinion of the others has varied according to his mood and . . .