Giorgio de Chirico

Giorgio de Chirico, “The School of Gladiators, The Fight”, 1928, Oil on Canvas

De Chirico always believed that his early academic training was vital in preparing him for his later work, and this conservative attitude set him apart from other modernists – particularly from the Surrealists who did so much to elevate his reputation. In the 1920s this outlook grew into a renewed belief in the value of craftsmanship and the Old Masters tradition, and it directed a shift in his style towards greater detail, richer color, and more conventionally accurate modeling of forms and volumes, as well as more emphatic references to Renaissance and Baroque art.

Giorgio de Chirico’s “The School of Gladiators: The Fight”, is part of a series of sixty paintings on the theme of gladiators, which de Chirico painted between early 1927 and 1929. Contrary to how he was executing his Metaphysical Period paintings of the 1910s, de Chirico in the 1920s applied thick, dense, short brush strokes. Moreover, the palette changed, becoming more hearty and brownish.