N08790

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Lot 325
  • 325

Giorgio de Chirico

Estimate
600,000 - 800,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Giorgio de Chirico
  • Cavalli sulla spiaggia (horses on the beach)
  • Signed G. de Chirico (lower right); signed Giorgio de Chirico and inscribed in Italian (on the reverse)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 39 1/8 by 29 in.
  • 99.4 by 73.7 cm

Provenance

Galeria Fiorentina d'Arte, Florence
Acquired from the above before 1993

Condition

Canvas is not lined. Surface is slightly dirty. Areas of stable cracks scattered throughout. Two old nail holes near the extreme upper right edge; few spots of surface abrasion near extreme lower left corner. Canvas is somewhat undulating throughout. Nail head-sized spot of repair 6 in. left of signature 2 in. above bottom edge. Under UV light: Few original marks of brown pigment; scattered areas of thicker varnish throughout. No inpainting apparent. Overall in very good condition.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

Cavalli sulla spiaggia is a magnificent example of the subject of horses on the beach, which was to become a pivotal theme of de Chirico's oeuvre, and to which he returned frequently from the 1920s on. Born in Volos, Greece from Italian parents, Giorgio de Chirico was surrounded by images of the antique world since early childhood. Classical mythology, history and architecture provided an endless source of inspiration for the artist, who combined these subjects with a contemporary setting, to create images of mystical, dream-like quality.

In the 1920s de Chirico abandoned his early surrealist style, which had a great influence on the group of artists gathered around Andr√© Breton, and in turning to the classical world as a new source of inspiration, he embraced the new avant-garde trend led by Pablo Picasso's neo-classical period. (See fig. 1) Figures of horses and antique ruins on a beach, such as in Cavalli sulla spiaggia, replaced the enigmatic piazzas of his early surrealist compositions, while still retaining a mystical, dream-like character. In turning to this new subject, de Chirico was able to recreate the timeless quality of the classical world that had fascinated him since his early years. Although his turning to classical antiquity was partly influenced by the rappel √† l'ordre prevalent in the years after World War I, de Chirico used these elements in a highly individual and innovative manner, creating one of the most original bodies of work in twentieth century art. According to James Thrall Soby, there were three principal factors underlying de Chirico's return to classicism: "The first of these was his absorption in the art of the past, stimulated by his postwar studies in the great museums of Rome and Florence and by his discussions with Nicola Lochoff. The second may well have been his regard for Picasso who, beginning in 1917, had alternately painted classical-realistic pictures and abstract works. Picasso's neo-classic paintings and drawings undoubtedly were known to de Chirico [...]. A third factor, accounting in good part for de Chirico's 1925-28 paintings of ancient ruins, gladiators and wild horses, was his enthusiasm for Sir James George Frazer's travel account of classical Greece, published in French in 1923 as Sur les Traces de Pausanias" (James Thrall Soby, Giorgio de Chirico, New York, 1966, p. 162).

Fig. 1 Pablo Picasso, The Abduction, 1920, tempera on wood, The Philip L. Goodwin Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York