Giorgio de Chirico
The Melancholy of Departure 1916

Artwork details

Giorgio de Chirico 1888–1978
The Melancholy of Departure
Melanconia della partenza
Date 1916
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 518 x 359 mm
frame: 682 x 524 x 70 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1978
Not on display

Display caption

The window and the map with a traced route evoke ideas of travel, suggesting escape from a cluttered, claustrophobic studio. As a child in Greece, de Chirico, who was an Italian, felt detached from his surroundings and identified with the voyaging Argonauts of Greek mythology. He imagined their journey ‘of profundity and solitude’ across ‘measureless oceans’. The Melancholy of Departure was painted after de Chirico had returned from Paris to Italy to serve in the First World War.

September 2012

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