Giorgio de Chirico (1888 - 1978) was an Italian painter born in Greece, and with Carlo Carra founded the scuola metafisica art movement. He studied art in Munich at the Academy of Fine Arts, where he read the writings of the philosophers Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer and studied the works of Boecklin and Max Klinger.
De Chirico is best known for the paintings he produced between 1909 and 1919, his Metaphysical period, which are memorable for the haunted, brooding moods evoked by their images. At the start of this period, his subjects were still cityscapes inspired by the bright daylight of Mediterranean cities, but gradually he turned his attention to studies of cluttered storerooms, sometimes inhabited by mannequins.
He won praise for his work almost immediately from the writer Guillaume Apollinaire, who helped to introduce his work to the later Surrealists. Yves Tanguy wrote how one day in 1922 he saw one of de Chirico's paintings in an art dealer's window, and was so impressed by it he resolved on the spot to become an artist -- although he had never even held a brush! Other artists who acknowledged de Chirico's influence include Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, and René Magritte.
De Chirico also published a novel in 1925: Hebdomeros, the Metaphysician. His later paintings never received the same critical praise as did those from his metaphysical period.