"The Pirate (Le Corsair)" Giorgio de Chirico - 1916
I had the pleasure of seeing this painting at one of my favorite museums, The Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia. While the musuem used to be located about an hour outside of Philly, due to a somewhat controversial move of Albert Barnes collection to a new building the whole collection is easily accessible in Philadelphia. Anyways, Dr. Barnes was a huge proprietor of impressionist art at a time when it was controversial and many other styles of art that followed impressionism. Between the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes, Philly actually has one of the largest collections of impressionist artwork in the world.
But anyways, I had only seen a few of Giorgio de Chirico’s paintings before I recently went to the Barnes and my impression was that he painted generally classical inspired abandoned, surreal landscapes. When I saw this painting though, which is a burst of colors and lines, architectural and explosive, I new there was much more to him as an artist. The de Chirico paintings since then have confirmed that. I’m only just starting to learn about him, but the best part of discovering an artist you didn’t know much about is that you can always be surprised by their work. I highly suggest looking into de Chirico for his use of real and unreal perspectives, muted but vibrant colors, and abstracted but architectural objects.