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Orpheus the tired Troubadour

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1970 • Oil, Canvas

Description of the artwork «Orpheus the tired Troubadour»

"Orpheus the tired Troubadour" - painting 1970 period, when de Chirico returns to its "canonical" principle of metaphysical painting and the old forms invests in new ideas.

This picture is familiar from earlier works, turning into the particular landscape of the Italian city. A white colonnade is committed to the red tower on the horizon — the distant center of the city, surrounded by a fortified wall. In the distance you can see the approaching boat.

The main character — dummy-Troubadour. It is a holistic, complete image, but fragmented into parts: chest and arms Harper's quite reminiscent of the human, but the hip is a wooden prosthetic, and your calves and feet taken from a marble statue. Mannequins as full-fledged characters, included in a painting by de Chirico from the very beginning of the development of his individual style. The viewer looking at them is in disarray, not knowing who or what is in front of him: a doll, a mechanism, and maybe a living creature. Freud wrote an idea that inspired and became iconic for many of the Surrealists: "One of the most reliable ways to evoke the feeling of disturbing strangeness is to create uncertainty about whether appearing to our eyes the character of a living creature or machine". The mystery and anxiety was the basis of the metaphysical painting, so the dummy has confidently moved in the later work of de Chirico. He was not just a copy, but a way to rethink the past, where automation was a symbol of the new art, and the static was opposed to the vivid dynamics of the futurists.

Orpheus, despite his mehanizirovannost, tired and sat down on the grey CC, Faceless head bent to one side, his hands casually released the harp. Probably, in the view of the artist, before that, the singer has performed his music over a deserted coastal town in the dark blue sky you can see the silhouette of a fairytale castle, magic Mirage.

Archaeology was interested in de Chirico in the days of the "first wave" of metaphysical painting, especially the artist's first wife was actively fascinated by excavations. In the later period, when the artist refers to his own work, he also uses the details of the finds and items of antiquity. On the background of Mediterranean cities and of Orpheus — prostitue-polumenta you can see the ionic volutes that decorate the geometric composition behind the hero are the decoration of his body and the metal of the harp thrown from Gog. The feeling of antiquity also sends long cloak-himation draped over her shoulder.

De Chirico mixes up not only time, imagination and reality, but the space. The interior is easy inscribed in the urban landscape: dusty beige curtain on the left resembles theatrical action and parts of the plane. The subject also dividing the area of the city, is a brick wall, out from behind the curtain.

The hero of Greek mythology Orpheus by the sound of his harp tamed wild beasts and forced to move rocks. It is the symbol of power of art not only over man but also over the living world. The theme of Orpheus, one way or another been touched by de Chirico in his theatrical works and ended with the image of the tired Troubadour, soulless mannequin that can cause the sounds of the harp magical vision.

Author: Lyudmila Lebedeva
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