Premonitory Portrait of Appollinaire-Giorgio de Chirico 1914
Although the relationship between the Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico and the Surrealists was an uneasy one to say the least; the Surrealists were highly critical of anything he painted post 1919 and de Chirico doesn’t have a good word to say about his dealings with the group, in his memoirs he  describes Breton & Co as cretinous and hostile, it was de Chirico’s paintings of the metaphysical period that were undoubtedly the greatest single influence on visual Surrealism.His eerie vision of deserted piazzas and  frozen cityscapes inspired and influenced Ernst, Dali, Magritte, Tanguy and Balthus among many others.

The 1914 painting of the poet and instigator of many a avant-garde movement, Guillaume Appollinaire (who also was the man to coin the term sur-realism, which he used to describe the Cubist ballet Parade, composed by Erik Satie) conveys a sense of enigmatic menace. A classical bust of a man wears the dark glasses of a blind man. His blindness paradoxically means that he can see what others can’t. He is the poet as seer. To his right there fossils of a fish and a sea-shell stamped on a precarious column. In the background there is a shadow of a man, the poet Apollinaire with a white outline marked on his cranium and shoulder, the suggestion is unmistakably of target areas. In WWI Apollinaire enlisted and was wounded in the head by shrapnel that led to a series of operations immediately before his death from influenza.

35 thoughts on “Premonition

    1. Thank you as always, though I notice you didn’t give me a like (being bossy again). Music is probably the field where the Surrealists had the least impact, and they themselves were notoriously indifferent to music as well. De Chirico is one of my favourites and he was a fine novelist and writer as well

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh no! I forgot the like! I’ll remedy that, you silly woman. And I’ll look up de Chirico’s writing. I love that Shoenberg wrote music and painted. It’s fun to look at those combinations.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. De Chirico’s works often come into my mind when I come back to Italy in summer. In particular, whenever I happens to walk into an empty square with Renaissance features. Usually, it is after lunch, when everyone is having their ‘pisolino’ (afternoon nap).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I just re-posted my post concerning Victor Brauner. It is a strange story. Hope you like. With Toyen I have been also trying to find works from the 50’s which I know exist, just very hard to find on the internet. Thank you for your patience.

        Liked by 1 person

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