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    Description

    Giorgio de Chirico (Italian, 1888-1978)
    Il Trovatore (The Troubadour), circa 1950-55
    Oil on canvas
    16 x 12 inches (40.6 x 30.5 cm)
    Signed lower left: G. de Chirico
    Signed and inscribed on the reverse: questa pittura / metafisica: / "Il Trovatore" / i opera autentica / da me eseguita / e firmata. / Giorgio de Chirico

    PROVENANCE:
    The artist;
    Private collection, Beverly Hills, California, acquired from the above;
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    NOTE:
    The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico.
    The lot is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, no. 064-10-21OT, dated October 4, 2021.

    'To be really immortal a work of art must go beyond the limits of the human: good sense and logic will be missing from it. In this way it will come close to the dream state, and also to the mentality of children.' With these words De Chirico describes the prophetic function of his art, influenced by Nietzsche's philosophy. His distinctive unsettling metaphysical imagery is well represented in Il Trovatore, offered in our November Modern and Contemporary Art Auction.

    The canvas illustrates a mannequin figure standing in the middle of the scene with a garment made of triangular forms and a wooden heart. Surrounded by an empty, melancholic and almost theatrical piazza cloaked in an autumnal light, the mannequin is located in an enigmatic dreamlike world. Archetypical details of the metaphysical symbolism are all present in the scene: exaggerated long shadows, an illogical perspective, bizarre juxtapositions of objects and increasingly narrow spaces. These expedients have a decorative purpose in De Chirico's art and through stillness and mystery they are used to further distance reality and ironically reveal the oddity and senselessness of the world. Thus, the faceless mannequin can be read as an allegory of the human condition in the modern age, where human beings are just seen as empty-headed androids, a sentiment he felt while stationed in Ferrara waiting to be recalled for military duty during World War I.

    Originally painted in 1917, Il Trovatore is the model of one of the recurrent subjects' series of Giorgio de Chirico, and it is now considered to be among the artist's greatest masterpieces. This theme had a revival in the artist's later life. During the mid-1950s, de Chirico revisited his old metaphysical motifs, reprising them while adding certain details to reinforce his artistic progress from the beginning of his career. Colors are now brighter and more saturated, the sky is graduated in a vivid green and yellow, almost reminding of northern lights, and the figure of the mannequin appears to look more human.

    Given that his earlier works from the second decade of 1900s were more appreciated by the market, to keep up with demand de Chirico started to create verifalsi, copies of his own early works. This was not seen by the artist as unethical, but instead, challenging authenticity and uniqueness, he favored the concept that the idea behind his paintings was 'owned' by him. This stance was ahead of his time, and was in fact an inspiration to Pop artists including Andy Warhol and his mass-produced screen-print works.

    We are proud to offer such a beautiful artwork made by one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. The significance and rarity of this canvas makes it without a doubt a great piece to own.




    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas. Very minor frame abrasion at upper edge. Pinholes, likely inherent to production, in each corner. Slightly raised vertical canvas seam, inherent to the support, in lower left corner. Otherwise there appear to be no major condition issues affecting the work.
    Framed Dimensions 22.25 X 18.25 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2021
    17th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,474

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 15% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

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