He was born in Volos (Greece) in 1888. He attended the Athens Polytechnic (1903-1906) and, following the death of his father, he left Greece with his family: after two short stops in Venice and Milan, he moved to Munich , where he attended the Academy of Fine Arts and devoted himself to the study of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Weininger. In June 1909 he joined his mother and brother Alberto in Milan.
The influence of Bocklin and Klinger is evident in his early works (The enigma of an autumn afternoon, The enigma of the oracle, 1910): from the first he drewthe sensitivity to classical mythology and the Myth of Hellas, from the second the sense of profound, absolute and dramatic solitude crystallized in the desolate and metaphysical squares of Italy.
In 1911 he was in Paris: in 1912 he took part in the Salon d’Automne at the Grand Palais and in 1913 he exhibited three paintings at the Salon des Indépendants. Inserted in the rich Parisian cultural environment, he frequented Pablo Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, Giovanni Papini, Ardengo Soffici, Fernand Léger, Constantin Brancusi, Max Jacob, André Derain and Georges Braque. He begins the iconographic cycle of the Mannequins.
Returning to Italy due to the world conflict, he moved to Ferrara where he created the first metaphysical interiors and the famous paintings Il grande metaphysico, Ettore and Andromaca, Il trovatore and Le Muse disturbanti. Admitted to the hospital in Ferrara together with his brother Alberto Savinio he met Carlo Carrà and Filippo de Pisis.
After moving to Rome, he exhibited his first solo show at the Casa d'Arte Bragaglia in 1919: followed by the 1921 solo show in Milan (Galleria Arte) and in 1922 the exhibition at the Galerie Paul Guillaume in Paris, presented by André Breton.
Between 1925 and 1929 he began research on the Metaphysics of light and the Mediterranean Myth, giving rise to themes such as Archaeologists, Horses by the sea, Trophies, Landscapes in the room, Furniture in the valley and Gladiators, thus operating a break with the surrealists. He exhibits with the Novecento group in Italy, in Milan, and abroad, in Zurich and Amsterdam, and in England, Germany and the United States.
Towards the end of the 1930s the so-called "Renoir Period" arrives in which he paints in the manner of the great French Impressionist: it is the period of portraits and Nudes on the sea characterized by luminous naturalism.
In addition to the numerous participations in national and international exhibitions, the artist combines a multifaceted activity by dedicating himself, in addition to painting, to sculpture, engraving and theatrical activity (from the sets and costumes for the famous Russian Ballets of Serge Diaghilev of the twenties to the sets for the Rome Opera House). He participates in the Roman Biennale (1923), the Venice Biennale (1924, 1932), the Milan Triennale (for which he painted the monumental fresco La Cultura Italiana in 1933), the Rome Quadriennale (1938).
In 1944 he settled permanently in Rome and the following year he published two autobiographical texts: Memories of my life and 1918-1925. Memories of Rome. At the end of World War II he resumed his intense exhibition activity and unleashed a tough fight against the falsifications of his works.
In 1948 he was made a member of the Royal Society of British Artists.
In 1970 an important anthology of the artist was held at the Palazzo Reale in Milan, as well as a major exhibition at the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. In 1971 Claudio Bruni Sakraischik begins to publish the General Catalog of Giorgio de Chirico.
In 1974 he was awarded the title of Academician of France.
He died in Rome in 1978.
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