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Melancholy and mystery of a street

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1914, 87×71.5 cm • Oil, Canvas

Description of the artwork «Melancholy and mystery of a street»

"Melancholy and mystery of a street" — picture of George de Chirico, 1914 — the peak of the "metaphysical" period in his painting.

The main protagonist is the city, but in a very unusual presentation. It is a city that is alien to human life, joy, it has no sounds and movements, while it is not empty, but full of mysterious meanings, frightening combinations. Disappearing into the horizon white arcade, lit by an unusually bright light, as if striving upwards into the dark blue sky. Gloomy massive building on the right casts a dense shade, in which perched a lonely car. The doors of the car opened, allowing you to see another perspective, another space from inside. The light and shadow here reach its absolute maximum, how to watch the Sizzling midday sun.

"Melancholy and mystery of a street" is another metaphysical urban landscape, imbued with the clear, cutting lines and electric light. The only exception, which had allowed himself de Chirico in their unreal forms is a way of living girls. The girl is not just alive — she's running like a easy silhouette as the protagonist of the shadow theatre, without color and volume, holding the Hoop. It is extremely expressive and weightless, but light shadow at her feet convinces the viewer of the authenticity of what is happening. Perhaps in it lies the whole point of metaphysical composition, which can be expressed by the words of de Chirico: "In the shadow of a man walking Sunny day, made more secrets than all religions". Gliding parallel clear lines cast by the building she was approaching yet another "dead" subject shadow from the statue. According to researcher D. T. Sobey, the running girl is a character borrowed by the author from a painting by J. Seurat "Sunday afternoon on the island of La Grande Jatte."

Perspective is a separate topic in the philosophy of painting of de Chirico. Like the old Russian icon-painting technique, she distorts reality, allowing the viewer to be inside the pattern, at the same time staying out of it. Multiple planes on one canvas makes the composition coherent, complete and enhance the feeling of a calibrated geometrical.

Painting is the most famous work of de Chirico. Some explanation of the work, the author has done independently to avoid incorrect guesses of the critics.

Author: Lyudmila Lebedeva







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About the artwork
Style of art and technique: Metaphysical painting, Oil

This artwork is in users' selections

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in Auvers
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Collects Olga Held
30 artworks • 0 comment
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