Italian artist and writer Giorgio De Chirico was born in Volos, Greece in 1888. De Chirico was the founder of the scuola metafisica, or Metaphysical art movement, which is thought to be a key influence in the subsequent surrealist movement. His work was based on the themes of philosophy, questioning reality, and the beauty of his metaphysical surroundings. De Chirico studied initially in Athens, then Florence and then moved to Germany, where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Here, his passion for the writings of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche gave inspiration to his work. He painted empty arcades, elongated shadows, towers and mannequins, conveying a dichotomy of both power and emptiness. He opposed modern art openly, and frequently spoke out about his disapproval, advocating the more classical style of Raphael and Signorelli. In his later life,
De Chirico moved more towards a neo-Baroque style that was heavily influenced by Rubens. However these works did not have the critical success and praise of his earlier work, which left the artist openly resentful.
De Chirico’s work influenced several films throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s and continues to inspire; being cited as the core influence for the art within the Playstation 2 game Ico.