Pittura Metafisica

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Pittura Metafisica or Arte Metafisica ("Metaphysical Painting" or "Metaphysical Art") is associated with Italian painters Carlo Carrà and Giorgio de Chirico. While Western European art, and in particular Cubism, was tending towards increasing abstraction and flatness around the time of World War I, Pittura Metafisica was figurative, adopting the classical paradigm of modeled forms in illusionistic space to explore what de Chirico called “a new metaphysical psychology of objects.” Marked by a strong sense of solitude and melancholy, the uncanny and dreamlike urban spaces and enigmatic iconography characteristic of this work speak to these artists’ interest in exploring space as the “astronomy of objects,” revealing prophetic relationships behind the artifice of appearances. Their embrace of motifs from classical antiquity foreshadowed a broad European interest during the postwar period in the enduring past and Neoclassical modes of representation.

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