Jan 12, 2005
Jun 7, 2007

Metaphysical Interior

Metaphysical Interior

c. 1917–1939

attributed to Giorgio de Chirico

(Italian, 1888–1978)

and Óscar Domínquez

(Spanish, 1906–1959)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 95.6 x 77.5 x 5.2 cm (37 5/8 x 30 1/2 x 2 1/16 in.); Unframed: 73.2 x 54 cm (28 13/16 x 21 1/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1981.51


Greatly admired by the Surrealists, de Chirico joined the movement shortly after its formation in Paris in 1924. The Surrealist considered his "metaphysical" paintings of the 1910s models for exploring the unconscious through dream imagery. For years this painting, owned by Surrealist poet Paul Éluard in the 1930s, was attributed to de Chirico by leading experts, including James Thrall Soby and William Rubin. More recently that attribution has been challenged, and some authorities now assign it to fellow Surrealist Óscar Domínquez. Éluard's daughter, Cécile Grindel, believes it was painted by her father's close friend, the German Surrealist Max Ernst. The Surrealists enjoyed confounding reality by disorienting viewers through visual paradoxes and games of irrational role reversal, which in some cases involved painting compositions in the style of their colleagues.

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