The Archeologists IV (Gli Archeologi IV); Plate VI from the suite "Metamorphosis" (Metamorphosis is underlined)Artist(s)Giorgio de ChiricoArtist NationalityItalian (culture or style)Object Creation Date1929Medium & Supportcolor lithograph on paperDimensions
19 ¾ in x 15 ⅝ in (50.17 cm x 39.69 cm);28 1/16 in x 22 1/16 in (71.28 cm x 56.04 cm);19 15/16 in x 15 11/16 in (50.64 cm x 39.85 cm);15 4/5 in x 11 ⅞ in (40.16 cm x 30.16 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
The idea of the faceless mannequin in the art of de Chirico has its origins in a poem of 1913 by the French poet Apollinaire and in a play of 1914 by the artist’s brother Alberto Savinio, about a "man without voice, eyes, or face." A blend of the human and the nonhuman, this enigmatic figure suggested the revelatory function of the artist, poet, or philosopher. Ultimately, this image came to stand for the human condition in the modern age, and was taken up by diverse artists, Surrealist and otherwise.
In de Chirico’s work the archeologist is a variant of the mannequin theme, and this figure occurs in pairs. As seen in the present print, the archeologists’ bodies are filled with objects—architectural ruins, heraldic shields, snippets of natural scenery—to suggest the collective memory that each individual must interpret. This lithograph is similar to a painting, now in Milan, that the artist executed three years earlier.
Label copy from exhibition "Dreamscapes: The Surrealist Impulse," August 22 - October 25, 1998Primary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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mannequins (costume equipment)
modern and contemporary art