During the First World War, in 1917, de Chirico serves in a hospital in Villa del Seminario near Ferrara. There he also gets acquainted with artists, like him, drafted into the army. In those years, he creates six paintings that compiled the series “Metaphysical Interiors”, the second title of which is “The Discovery of a Lonely Man.” On the canvas is a heap of very naturalistically illustrated cookies and a variety of measuring instruments: angles, rulers, frames, connected in a very balanced composition. On the right is the head of a dummy, resembling a tennis racket.
In the foreground
Any life disappears from painting. The space is completely closed, only a cookie lying on a flat surface creates a picture in the picture. Everything becomes a way of image, and there is a feeling of an inevitable separation from reality. What used to be a space has turned into a bunch of frames, angles and “pictures in pictures”. Weight turns into pure geometry – except for the float and the head of the dummy. Angular plans are superimposed on each other and on themselves.
A typical feature of these metaphysical paintings is the lack of logical connections between objects and strong prospective cuts. Having created several paintings in 1917 from a series of so-called metaphysical interiors, de Chirico abandons this theme and changes the direction of his creative search. However, in 1960, the artist returns to the old experiments with a set of objects, while opening the space.