The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon

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Giorgio de Chirico, The Enigma of an Autumn Afternoon, 1910
By TROY WORKMAN

There's nothing quite like the beginning of an era, like the exciting freshness of an idea. For Giorgio de Chirico, this was his new idea, and the spark that would light the minds of the greatest surrealist artists known to man. In 1910 de Chirico began his Metaphysical Town Square series in which this painting was the first made. These dreamily isolated works show heavy resemblances to where de Chirico grew up and spent his childhood years. In this painting, de Chirico depicts Florence's Piazza Santa Croce in a very simplified fashion. He uses the classic piazza with facades and long drooping shadows, along with deep and rich colors to reflect a city at dusk. This cumulative effect isolates the viewer to feel as if they are there, but as a ghost. This is truly what I love about de Chirico's paintings.

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