About This Artwork

Giorgio de Chirico
Italian, born Greece, 1888–1978

The Eventuality of Destiny, 1927

Oil on canvas
57 1/2 x 45 in. (146 x 114.3 cm)
signed and dated lower left: G. de Chirico/1927

Gift of Mrs. Frederic C. Bartlett, 1964.213

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

In the years following World War I, artists across Europe sought to put the disruptions of war behind them. Searching for a new artistic vocabulary, they moved away from the fragmented forms of prewar Cubism and looked to the classical tradition, forging what was known as the “return to order.” This new style had many sources of inspiration, including the art of ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, and even later Neoclassical revivals. Giorgio de Chirico was likewise attracted to the idea of classicism; his The Eventuality of Destiny is in part the result of his study of the works and techniques of the Old Masters.

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, Valentine Gallery, Paintings by Giorgio de Chirico, January 23–February 19, 1928, cat. 5, as L’Eventuality du destin.

New York, Valentine Gallery, December 31, 1928–Jan. 31, 1929.

New York, The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery at Hunter College of the City University, Giorgio de Chirico and America, September 10–October 26, 1996, no. 11.

Publication History

Galerie de L’Effort Moderne, Bulletin 33 (March 1927), n.p. (ill.).

McBride, Henry, “Attractions in the Galleries,” New York Sun (January 5, 1929), p. 12, col. 4. “Notes of the Month,” Studio International 92:382 (March 1929), p. 59.

Sweeney, James T., “Two Chiricos Out West,” New York Times (September 15, 1929), sec. 10, p. 18, col. 7.

Sweeny, J. J., “A Note on Super-realist Painting,” The Arts 16, no. 9 (May 1930), p. 610 (ill.), as Composition.

Lo Duca, Giuseppe, Giorgio de Chirico (Milan: Ulrico Hoepli, 1936), cat. 20.

Art Institute of Chicago, Annual Report 1964-65 (Art Institute, 1965), p. 29, as Neo-Classical Composition.

Sakraischik, Claudio Bruni, Catalogo Generale Giorgio de Chirico 5:1 (Milan: Electa Editrice, 1971-87), n.p., cat. 320 (ill.), as Figure monumentali.Ragghianti, Carlo Ludovico, Il Caso de Chirico: saggi e studi di Carlo L. Ragghianti 1934–1978 (Florence: Critica d’Arte, 1979), p. 73 (ill.), fig. 7, as Nudi antichi.

Speyer, A. James and Courtney Graham Donnell, Twentieth-Century European Paintings (Art Institute of Chicago, 1980), p. 37, cat. 1D8, as Neoclassical Composition.

dell’Arco, Maurizio Fagiolo, and Paolo Baldacci, Giorgio de Chirico: Parigi 1924-1929, dalla nascita del Surrealismo al crollo di Wall Street (Milan: Edizioni Phillipe Daverio, 1982), p. 498 (ill.), cat. 66, as Nus antiques.

dell’Arco, Maurizio Fagiolo, I Bagni Misteriosi: De Chirico negli anni Tranta-Parigi, Italia, New York (Milan: Berenice, 1991), p. 67 (ill.), cat. 5, as Nus antiques.

Braun, Emily, ed., Giorgio de Chirico and America exh. cat. (Hunter College of the City University of New York, 1996), pp. 51, 220, pl. 11 (ill.), as Antiques Nudes (Nus antiques).

Boddewyn, Julia May, “A Valentine to European Modernism,” Modernism Magazine 4, no. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 42 (ill.), 43.

Ownership History

Galerie de L’Effort Moderne (Leonce Rosenberg), Paris, by 1928 [letter of April 9, 1997 from Julia May Boddewyn in curatorial file]; sold to Valentine Gallery, New York, 1928 [letter mentioned above]; sold to Mr. Frederic Clay Bartlett, Jr., Chicago, by November 1928–1956 [letter mentioned above]; by descent to his wife, Evelyn Bartlett, Beverly, Mass. And Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 1956–1964; given to the Art Institute, 1964.

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