Giorgio de Chirico was born to Italian parents in Vólos, Greece, on July 10, 1888. From 1900 he studied at the Athens Polytechnic Institute and attended evening classes in figure drawing. In around 1906 he moved to Munich, where he attended the Akademie der Bildenden Künste. During this period he became interested in the art of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger and the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer. De Chirico moved to Milan in 1909, to Florence in 1910, and to Paris in 1911. In Paris he was included in the Salon d’Automne in 1912 and 1913 and in the Salon des Indépendants in 1913 and 1914. As a frequent visitor to Guillaume Apollinaire’s weekly gatherings, he met Constantin Brancusi, André Derain, Max Jacob, and others.

The outbreak of World War I forced de Chirico to return to Italy in 1915, where he met Filippo de Pisis in 1916 and Carlo Carrà in 1917. Together they formed the group known as the Scuola Metafisica. The artist moved to Rome in 1918, and was given his first solo exhibition at the Casa d’Arte Bragaglia in the winter of 1918–19. During this period he became one of the leaders of the Gruppo Valori Plastici, with whom he showed at the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. From 1920 to 1924 he divided his time between Rome and Florence. A solo exhibition of de Chirico’s work was held at the Galleria Arte in Milan in 1921, and he participated in the Venice Biennale for the first time in 1924.

In 1925 de Chirico returned to Paris, where he exhibited at Léonce Rosenberg’s Galerie l’Effort Moderne. In Paris his work was also shown at the Galerie Paul Guillaume in 1926 and 1927, and at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher in 1927. In 1928 he was given solo shows at the Arthur Tooth Gallery in London and at the Valentine Gallery in New York. In 1929 de Chirico designed scenery and costumes for Sergei Diaghilev’s production of the ballet, Le Bal, and his book, Hebdomeros, was published. The artist designed for the ballet and opera in subsequent years, and continued to exhibit in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Japan. In 1945 the first part of his book, Memorie della mia vita, was published. De Chirico died on November 20, 1978, in Rome.