The School of Gladiators: The Combat

A Masterpiece by Giorgio De Chirico

The Gladiators' School: the Combat (1928) by Giorgio de ChiricoBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

De Chirico's style keeps evolving and changing over the years, influenced by Italian and foreign experiences and personalities. This painting represents an example that is external to metaphysics.

In 1928, Rosenberg, De Chirico's French art merchant, asked several artists to create numerous works for his apartment in Paris.

For this occasion he created a cycle of paintings and graphics on the theme of combat: it used to be common in those years to organize in the parks games and fights between “modern gladiators" to entertain the French public..

The School of Gladiators is seen as an exaltation of Romanism in a period when Fascism is becoming more powerful in Italy so it is not particularly well received by the eyes of Parisian public.

The true meaning of the picture is the opposite of the values of the fascist system. De Chirico chooses to fool human strength and brutality. The gladiators, unlike the way they are imagined, are weak and frail, they don't have a powerful physical strength.

They're one on top of the other, in a room where you can only catch a glimpse of the walls, the floor and a small window on the right. In the confusion horses, men, spears and shields make up a crowd that creates the paradox represented by De Chirico

In 1939 Rosenberg had to sell a large part of his collection. Marieda and Antonio used the opportunity to go to Paris. They returned to Italy with this painting, which had been rolled up and had no frame.

Boschi Di Stefano Home: Living Room (1982) by Gabriele BasilicoBoschi Di Stefano House Museum

Throughout the apartment this is the only painting that keeps its original location. As soon as you enter the living room you will immediately notice the real protagonists, the gladiators.

Room 7 - La scuola di Parigi (Living Room) (2019)Boschi Di Stefano House Museum

The couple used to have concerts involving many of the most important artistic figures of the time and it was in their living room that they created a place for them to compare ideas.

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