Interno metafisico con officine is a great example of De Chirico’s mature metaphysical paintings, in which daily life objects acquire a mysterious meaning.
In this puzzling interior space, an image appears inside the image: a box inserted in the composition. Representing big buildings and a factory, it plays on various levels of image perception. The surrealists, especially Max Ernst and René Magritte, also used the representational device of the “painting within the painting”. The attention is grabbed by the contrasting elements: the geometric objects and the landscape in the box.
Interno metafisico con officine is also characterized by its surprisingly distorted perspective: the objects are surrounded by walls that could be both floor and ceiling. While De Chirico draws the inspiration of his spatial distortions from the cubists, he underlines the angularity of the Renaissance and neoclassical buildings. In this piece, these diverse influences show through the overlapping geometric shapes as well as the intertwined perspective lines.
De Chirico used to say that the world was a “huge museum of strange things” (William Rubin, ‘De Chirico and Modernism’, in De Chirico, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1982, p. 57). With its strange collection of objects and shapes of all sorts, Interno metafisico con officine captures the sense of wonder expressed in this statement and offers a beautiful example of De Chirico’s creative and inimitable imagination.
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