Chirico House Museum Rome
I love house museums and there aren't too many of them in Rome so the Chirico House, or more formally the Fondazione Giorgio e Isa di Chirico, was a real find. Situated at the bottom of the Spanish Steps and next-door to the better known (but far less interesting Keats Shelley House) this is the home and atelier of the Greek born Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978).
D. was familiar with his work but for me this was all new, and what an introduction it was! At the foundation website we made a reservation for a tour and as we were the only ones there we enjoyed a fascinating private tour of the apartment and the studio above. I highly recommend this small museum for art lover or anyone who likes to have a look into domestic interiors.
They allow photographs but ask that you take to rooms rather than individual pieces of art, so you won't see the close ups I normally favor when covering art museums.
De Chiroco's work is extraordinarily varied and he played with a number of different motifs, styles and approaches throughout his long career. The flat is filled with his works including many paintings referencing earlier masters, as you can see he hung numerous still lifes in different styles in the dining room below.
Many of his works referenced Greek mythology and often included horses and red drapery as seen below. There are numerous classical allusions and themes as well as architectonic imagery including open windows. Unfortunately I'm not doing the wonderful tour justice, as the guide did an extraordinary job of weaving the themes and motivations in his work but I must admit I didn't take notes. You will just have to go yourselves!
I also enjoyed the interior design which still looks fashionable.
For the uninitiated (myself included!) de Chiroco's work looks to be firmly in the surrealist camp but the guide explained that he despised this classification and described his own work as being metaphysical rather than surrealist. Indeed his work influenced the early surrealists rather than the other way around.Below is a self portrait in costume and a picture of his wife.
The tour includes a visit to his studio upstairs.
We found this a charming visit and something quite different. It's a fascinating and personal glimpse into an important Italian artist, highly recommended for those who have more time in Rome or are making a return visit.