Giorgio De Chirico (Italian, 1888-1978)
Untitled Landscape with Petrified Boat and Figures [The Dioscuri], c. 1925 and Untitled Portrait of Gala Dali, c. 1924-25/A Double-sided Work
Landscape signed "G. de Chirico" in pencil l.r., Portrait signed and
inscribed "Le retour a une suite...G. de Chirico" l.r. and inscribed "Madame Gala Dali" in a later hand l.c.
Graphite on paper, sight size 12 x 9 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm), framed.
Condition: Subtle foxing, pinhole u.c.
Provenance: From the Hillman Family Collection by descent to Alex Hillman; private collection c. 1990s.
Literature: Emily Braun, Manet to Matisse: The Hillman Family Collection, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994, pp. 54-57 (illus.).
N.B. In Emily Braun's analysis of the landscape composition of the present work, she notes that the two figures depicted in the foreground may allude to the twin sons of Zeus, Castro and Polydeuces - also known as the Dioscuri - but may also represent the artist and his brother, Alberto Savinio (1). Supporting this interpretation, Braun cites the depiction of eyes in the lower left, which commonly represented for De Chirico "the visionary powers of the artist" or "the omnipotence of the gods." (2) Of the portrait composition on the reverse, Braun contextualizes the work within the Parisian surrealist circle of Paul Eluard, Gala Dali's first husband. She notes that Eluard was a patron of De Chirico c. 1923, and that De Chirico associated with the couple through 1926. (3)
(1) Emily Braun. Manet to Matisse: The Hillman Family Collection. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994, p. 54.
(3) Ibid. 55.