Giorgio de Chirico, (born July 10, 1888, Vólos, Greece—died Nov. 19, 1978, Rome, Italy) was an Italian painter who, with Carlo Carrà and Giorgio Morandi, founded the style of Metaphysical painting.
After studying art in Athens and Florence, de Chirico moved to Germany in 1906 and entered the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. His early style was influenced by Arnold Böcklin’s and Max Klinger’s paintings, which juxtapose the fantastic with the commonplace. By 1910 de Chirico was living in Florence, where he began painting a unique series of landscapes. Moving to Paris in 1911, de Chirico gained the admiration of Pablo Picasso and Guillaume Apollinaire.
In 1915 de Chirico was conscripted into the Italian army and stationed at Ferrara, Italy. There, he was able to continue making art and practiced a modification of his earlier manner, marked by more compact groupings of incongruous objects. Diagnosed with a nervous condition, he was admitted into a military hospital, where he met Carlo Carrà in 1917; together the two artists developed the style they named Metaphysical painting. The element of mystery in de Chirico’s paintings dwindled after 1919, when he became interested in the technical methods of the Italian classical tradition. He eventually began painting in a more realistic and academic style, and by the 1930s he had broken with his avant-garde colleagues and disclaimed his earlier works.