The Anguish of Departure (1914) by Giorgio De Chirico

The Anguish of Departure - Giorgio De Chirico - 1914

Artwork Information

TitleThe Anguish of Departure
ArtistGiorgio De Chirico
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions85 x 69 cm
Art MovementMetaphysical art
Current LocationAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, US
Location Created Paris, France

About The Anguish of Departure

The artwork titled “The Anguish of Departure” was created by the Italian artist Giorgio De Chirico in 1914. This oil on canvas painting is a notable work from the Metaphysical art movement, encapsulating an evocative cityscape genre. The piece measures 85 by 69 centimeters and is currently housed at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, USA. De Chirico painted this enigmatic work while he was residing in Paris, France.

“The Anguish of Departure” exudes a haunting, dreamlike atmosphere characteristic of De Chirico’s Metaphysical style. The composition features stark architectural forms with long shadows cast across an empty space, evoking feelings of solitude and mystery. A solitary train compartment sits in the foreground, rendered in bright yellow with its shadows contributing to the scene’s sense of desolation. Dominating the background is a monumental, red-brown smokestack that pierces the sky, paired with a building displaying dark, unfilled archways that create a dialogue with the absent human presence. In the distance, a small puff of smoke rises, possibly from a train outside of the frame. The emptiness and scale of the structures in the artwork, alongside the use of sharp lines and a limited palette, contribute to an overall mood of melancholy and introspection. The vast, open expanse and architectural forms combine to create a feeling of otherworldliness, as if the scene is suspended in time or exists in an alternate dimension.

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