Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)
The seer - Winter 1914-1915 - Oil on canvas - H. 89.6; W. 70.1 cm
Older collection: Paul Guillaume
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, James Thrall Soby Bequest, 1979. Digital image, The Museum of Modern Art, New York / Scala, Florence© Adagp, Paris, 2020
A masterpiece of the time, The seer is this figure, seated on a wooden chopping block, whose cubed shape symbolises the material world. On his forehead he wears a headband with a star, recalling those worn by the priests of ancient initiation cults.
Its identity could be that of the artist himself or one of his doubles that appear in the painting: the mannequin, the shadow or the outline on the blackboard. On the right, the shadow cast on the ground seems to be that of a statue out of the field of vision, similar to the outline drawn on the blackboard. This shows a chalk drawing that picks up these elements in a sketch placed in perspective.
Giorgio de Chirico. Metaphysical Painting
Exhibition from Sep 16 to Dec 14, 2020
Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris