n this self-portrait the painter poses next to a plaster head of Minerva, which was invariably present in the artist’s studio, with his palette in one hand and his paintbrush in the other, wearing the traditional dress of a painter in the late Renaissance. The red curtain behind him is typical of the Italian portrait tradition. This “costume” has a particular meaning in the period from the end of the Thirties to the Fifties, in which de Chirico rediscovered the techniques of baroque painting, Rubens and the works of the eighteenth century Veneto. On a number of occasions it explicitly signals his opposition to contemporary art.


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