Transformed Dream Elusive Realities

Good Essays
Meredith Liu
Professor Ila Sheren
TA: Heather Read (Section K)
28 April 2017
Paper #3
The Transformed Dream: Elusive Realities
The most fascinating art is often the most perplexing. In the case of Giorgio de Chirico, his repressed consciousness manifests itself in the surreal concoction of oil paint on canvas known as The Transformed Dream. At first glance, the viewer might simply see an odd collection of objects composed into an oblong still life. The subject matter in their particular setting are, in this case, bewildering and unsettling. Read from left to right in the western tradition, de Chirico paints a marble sculpture of a man’s face, two pineapples, and two piles of bananas. These objects are placed on a platform in a shadowy plaza,
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He was always torn between his mixed heritage, combining both the Italian and Greek influences from his parents (Stern). The Transformed Dream is set in an Italianate plaza surrounded by rectangular piers receding into the background. The lines of these architectural piers lead the viewer’s eyes to the train on the horizon. Without context, the inclusion of the locomotive seems to be more of a commentary on industry than anything else. However, it is quite representative of de Chirico’s longing for remnants of home, as his father was a railroad engineer who planned railroad lines throughout the Greek province of Thessaly (Stern). This longing for home is similarly manifested in the “calm and meditativeness of Italian architecture” (Loreto, 88) that de Chirico painted. De Chirico’s shadowy interpretation of his Italian heritage mimics the melancholy of a wandering soul whose national identity has no…show more content…
In The Transformed Dream, as the viewer’s eye moves along the scene, he or she will next see two pineapples, one standing vertically and the other leaning on its mate for support. Again, their unusually warm orange color distinguishes them from the rest of the objects in the still life. However, de Chirico again weaves hints of green throughout the orange spines on the pineapples to unite the disparate tones. This subtle use of contrast enhances both the depth and the cohesion of the piece as a whole. In addition, de Chirico amps up the contrast by creating the gradient in the sky from dark green to light green in order to differentiate it from the dark green pineapple leaves. The most stark contrast, however, is found in the surroundings of the marble head. Along the profile, de Chirico uses a dark outline so that the edge of the god’s face is not lost in the large area of mustard yellow just behind it. The perspective would be unclear and the viewer’s perception of depth would be skewed if de Chirico had omitted this outline. With already surreal subject matter, clarity in form is important in maximizing the audience’s viewing
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