The Shores of Tessaglia
Oil on canvas, Bianchedi Bettoli / Vallunga Collection, 1926, 93x73 cm, with frame and passe-partout 122x103, Inv. n. 1757
In 1926 there was a definitive break with the Surrealists; De Chirico for a while had already declared being interested in the trade and for this reason was looking at art in the museums, feeling the need for more solid bases.
With the new artistic period, which led to the overcoming of the metaphysics of the first decade of the twentieth century, other themes entered De Chirico's art: mannequins of faceless human figures, horses at the seaside, outdoor furniture, and gladiators. In this work a single horse held by a man is on the seashore in a landscape with metaphysical presences (the pedestal without the statue and the building with the portico), with a construction that could be a smokestack or a lighthouse and that, in any case, presents an abundance of symbols. The composition, with its homogeneous palette, becomes an evanescent entity that is suitable to the myth and to the dreamlike unveiling of the return to origins of his natal Greece.
This extraordinary painting also has a complex history, which was admirably reconstructed by Maurizio Fagiolo dell'Arco. The work, which reappeared at an auction held by Sotheby's in London in 1984, is to be considered a replica, with a few variations, of another painting considered a masterpiece by Giorgio de Chirico already published by Roger Vitrac in 1927.