Giorgio de Chirico, Self-portrait

Giovanni Boldini, Portrait Emiliana Concha de Ossa (The White Pastel), 1888
Giovanni Boldini, Portrait Emiliana Concha de Ossa (The White Pastel), 1888

One way to enter de Chirico's mind can be observing the chronological series of self-portraits, in which the artist has captured himself in various clothes and in different years of life. Probably, de Chirico tried to follow the example of Rembrandt, who created his "chronicle in self-portraits". His experiments in trying various masks on himself - the gypsy thief, the artist on the easel or, finally, the nobleman in 17th century costume) also speak in favor of this hypothesis: the mirror becomes the only way, ironic and terribly finished, to observe one's disguise. In his hundred self-portraits, there is never a generic pose but he is always posed as someone (as "born under Saturn", like Raphael, as a Renaissance gentleman). It is precisely in the self-portrait that the value of Metaphysics is enhanced.

In this Self-Portrait made in 1920-1930, Giorgio de Chirico is forty three years old. In the previous autumn he met Isabella Pakszwer (later Isabella Far) who will become his second wife, staying close to him until his death. 

Here de Chirico finally answers the question posed in his first self-portrait: "And what will I love if not what is an enigma?". There is nothing more physical than these eyes, these noble and magnanimous clothes. This face, these wrinkles, these casts are the meeting in which all the different faces that succeed one another find their uniqueness. Identifying himself like everyone else, Giorgio de Chirico replies, in this self-portrait, that exceptionality is identifying with oneself. Because every mannequin will remain, but our face remains recognizable to our imaginary operation.

GIORGIO De Chirico, Self Portrait, 1929-1930, Oil on cardboard, 41 x 33 cm

GIORGIO De Chirico

(Volos, 1888 - Roma 1978)

Self Portrait, 1929-1930

Oil on cardboard, 41 x 33 cm


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