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Italian painter, who founded the metaphysical school. He was born in Volos, Greece, the son of an Italian engineer. He studied art in Athens and in Munich, where he was strongly influenced by the allegorical works of the 19th-century Swiss painter Arnold BĂ¶cklin. In Turin and Florence and in Paris, where he settled in 1911, he painted deserted cityscapes, such as Enigma of an Autumn Night (1910) and Mystery and Melancholy of a Street (1914). These early metaphysical works, through sharp contrasts of light and shadow and exaggerated perspective, evoke a haunting, ominous dream world. As an army conscript in Ferrara in 1915 de Chirico met the futurist painter Carlo CarrĹ•; together they founded the magazine Pittura Metafisica in 1920. From 1915 to 1925 de Chirico painted bizarre, faceless mannequins and juxtaposed wildly unrelated objects in his still lifes, a technique adopted by the surrealists. From 1924 to 1930 de Chirico gave enormous impetus to the surrealist movement and influenced such surrealists as Yves Tanguy and Salvador DalĂ. By the mid-1930s he had turned to an outworn academic style and chose to become a fashionable portraitist.
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