As a forerunner of Pittura metafisica (Metaphysical art), Greek-Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) exerted a powerful influence on the subsequent development of Surrealism, New Objectivity and Magic Realism. For example, well before the Surrealists, de Chirico had discovered the power of the unconscious and the independent language of objects. Influenced by the symbolic painting of Arnold B cklin and the dream pictures of Max Klinger, he created his provocative city views of deserted or statically enlivened squares. At the same time, he made ironically intellectual self-portraits that now form a large part of the artists complete oeuvre. In this enlightening volume, curator and de Chirico scholar Gerd Roos discusses the artists development as it is reflected in his times; his break with his innovative, seminal painting style; and his turn to a traditional, academic concept of art.