Giorgio de Chirico The Mathematicians 1917

  • Not on view

The figures in this drawing are made of the tools of their trade: T-squares and drafting triangles form the skeletal structures of these two mathematicians. These implements were likely familiar to de Chirico, whose father was an engineer, and the mannequins built from them resemble the poseable wooden models the artist would have encountered in his own academic training. However, the rationality of mathematics and of the Italian classicism that influenced de Chirico's visual style is undermined by the mood of enigmatic disquiet that characterizes the scene. That the two tiny figures in the distance seem to be human only heightens the uncanny quality of the central armatures.

Gallery label from Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, March 14–July 9, 2012.
Pencil on paper
12 5/8 x 8 5/8" (32.1 x 21.9 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Stanley B. Resor
Object number
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome
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