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While Braque challenged the need to be figurative, De Chirico challenged the need for meaning altogether.

Undeed, until then, most art had "made sense".

No matter who the artist was, the viewer would have immediately had a sense of what they were trying to represent.

But unlike previous artists, De Chirico was not interested in representing something that was readily accessible.

His paintings act as puzzles - distorting time and space and challenging the viewer to find meaning in them.

For Magritte, seeing De Chirico's paintings was like "seeing thought for the first time".

The painting is a homage to Surrealist poet Apollinaire.

Indeed De Chirico had recently moved to Paris and wanted to thank the poet for his support.

The sculpture represents the mythical Greek poet Orpheus.

Fun fact : can you see the white circle on the shadow in the painting?

Apollinaire was wounded at that exact same spot during the First World War.

This led some to believe that this painting had eery premonitory powers...

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)



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