The Mysterious Archaeologists by Giorgio De Chirico – 1926

The Mysterious Archaeologists by Giorgio De Chirico – 1926

Updated: Apr 5

This creation invokes pain and poetry at the same time. It revels in the beauty of suffering. As if Light and shadow have joined hands with each other to depict the cosmos resting peacefully amidst the chaos.

War can’t mar us,

We lie here broken,

Terribly shaken,

But we know that we are ‘ART’

And ‘Art’ is fearless,

Art is endless,

Don’t mistake us for silent spectators,

We are the noiseless rebels,

Exhibiting the grace of our stunted legs,

And the core of our unshaken resolve,

We are the remnants of violence,

We are the foundation of peace,

We are the reminders of comforting camaraderie,

We are the spiritual gangsters without the guns…

Giorgio de Chirico, the Italain painter, was also the founder of Metaphysical Art – a style of painting developed in 1911 – a movement that depicted dreamlike works and had a vaguely threatening and a mysterious quality to it. Chirico was an ardent advocate of Surrealism as well, and this painting truly looks like a work that’s gradually made its way from the subconscious to the conscious.

There exists a world inside the white sculpture, a whole new world that has been erased and razed time and again, but yet it remains indelible, like a divine footprint.

The oily hues of various browns and blacks scream – that these mannequins can be exhumed and excavated and then buried again to the soil of the earth, but till the time they are around, their still and powerful presence will echo the vibe of ‘beauty’ and ‘perseverance’. From the dead in the catacombs to the breathing ones in the far-flung corners – the piercing aura of these stone bodies will echo all around.

Streaks of watery blues at the bottom of the painting indicates a touch of life, a touch of existence – existence which is omnipresent, be it in a dreary world or a blissful abode.

Methinks there’s a sense of ‘waiting’ in this painting, and the wait is not a sign of weakness, but a paragon of strength – just the kind of strength we need to live amidst the cacophony of deafening noises, just the kind of strength we need to help people look at the cracks and how the light enters those cracks, and just when the cracks are filled with gilded brightness, that’s when the real magic happens.

I wonder what Chirico was thinking while creating the stunted stone men, but the more closely I look, I realise that these stone guys are the beautiful remnants of history and they might just be broken into smithereens someday, but for now they are like inanimate twins who are alive in their own way, they don’t need flesh and blood to invoke a human-like quality, they are just enough – taking innocuous pride in their peaceful God-like beauty.

Also Read: Escape by Abani Sen

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