Le Cerveau de l’Enfant (The Child’s Brain) (1914) by Giorgio De Chirico

Le Cerveau de l'Enfant (The Child's Brain) - Giorgio De Chirico - 1917

Artwork Information

TitleLe Cerveau de l'Enfant (The Child's Brain)
ArtistGiorgio De Chirico
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions31 1/2 x 24 3/4 in. (80 x 63 cm)
Art MovementMetaphysical art
Current LocationNationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden
Location Created Italy

About Le Cerveau de l'Enfant (The Child's Brain)

The artwork titled “Le Cerveau de l’Enfant (The Child’s Brain)” is a creation of Giorgio De Chirico, dated 1917. It is an oil on canvas exemplifying the Metaphysical art movement. The painting measures approximately 80 by 63 centimeters and serves as an allegorical painting. Crafted in Italy, this piece resides in the Nationalmuseum located in Stockholm, Sweden.

The artwork presents a hauntingly still urban scene with a towering classical figure and a closed, orange-bound book that rests on a surface, possibly implying the weight of untapped knowledge or the potential of the human mind. The figure dominates the canvas, with a portion of his upper torso and a disproportionately large disembodied head before a column, which bifurcates the composition. His eyes are closed, and his face displays a placid, perhaps introspective expression that may resonate with the artwork’s allegorical nature.

On the left, the column’s classical fluting suggests an architectural order and evokes the historical gravitas of antiquity. In the background, stark architectural forms contribute to the enigmatic sensibility definitive of De Chirico’s style, with their elongated shadows casting an otherworldly atmosphere upon the scene. The stark contrast of shadow and light, the sharp delineation of forms, and the surreal juxtaposition of the figure and the space around it underscore the existential and philosophical inquiries characteristic of Metaphysical art. The environment, devoid of any human activity apart from the central figure, amplifies the sense of stillness, introspection, and perhaps the collision between inner and external realms.

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