de Chirico Hector Leaving Andromache

Image

Terracotta sculpture of Hector leaving Andromache

Giorgio de Chirico
b. 1888 Vólos, Greece; d. 1978 Rome, Italy
Hector Leaving Andromache, 1925
Terracotta
17 x 8 x 7 inches
Accession date: 1989
The Dr. and Mrs. John J. Mayers Collection
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

Subject

Visual Arts

Grade Range

K-12

Skill

Critical analysis

Motivation

Museum trip

Materials

Personal Connection worksheet

About the Artist

Georgio de Chirico was born to Italian parents in the ancient city of Volos, Greece in 1888. Greek myth and its classical history would prove to be a constant source of inspiration throughout de Chirico’s career. After his father’s death in 1906, the family relocated to Germany. De Chirico studied in Munich at the Academy of Fine Arts.

He moved to Paris in 1911 and immersed himself in experimental, avant-garde circles. De Chirico moved to Florence and in 1917 founded the Scuola Metafisica (Metaphysical School) which profoundly influenced the surrealists. (Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy that deals with existence and abstract concepts of being, knowing, identity, time, and space.) His paintings from 1911-1917 included classical piazzas with shadowy figures and deliberately distorted perspectives. Strong influences on him during this time were Symbolist painters like Arnold Böcklin and the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

In 1919, de Chirico moved to Rome and had his first solo exhibition at Casa d’Arte Bragaglia. While in Rome, his interest in the Great Masters became more intense. He often frequented museums that resulted in his return to traditional painting techniques. He continued to use metaphysical themes. He broke away from the Surrealists in 1925 even though his influence was monumental.

In the later decades of his life, de Chirico started making sculptures in terracotta and bronze. He would also make copies of his popular earlier metaphysical works. He died at the age of 90 in Rome in 1978. Some museums that have his work as part of their collections are the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Learning Goal

To use critical analysis to describe the characteristics of the sculpture Hector Leaving Andromache by Giorgio de Chirico.

I Can Statement

I can use critical analysis to describe the characteristics of the sculpture Hector Leaving Andromache by Giorgio de Chirico.

Vocabulary

Sculpture, sculptor, three-dimensional, terracotta, critical analysis, texture, abstract, realistic 

Procedure

  • Define and discuss critical analysis.
  • Introduce or review the vocabulary.
  • Point out that the artist was born in Volvos, Greece.
  • Elicit information about Greece from the class (location, climate, language).
  • Discuss and explain the concepts of realistic and abstract art.
  • Is the sculpture more realistic or more abstract? Explain.
  • Ask the class if they have ever seen a sculpture like this one before (what and where).
  • Have the children explain what the subjects are doing (dancing, arguing or embracing).
  • Can you infer from the title what is happening in the sculpture?
  • Give the statue a new title and explain your reasoning for the new name.
  • What do you suppose the setting might be (location, year, season)?
  • Elicit the moods evoked by the statue and explain why you feel that way (happy, silly, etc.). 
  • Ask the group what the artist’s mood might have been when he created the piece.
  • Inquire how the piece would feel to the touch (cool, warm, room temperature). Explain.
  • Discuss texture and ask the children to give a description (smooth, bumpy, thick or thin).
  • Ask the children to describe the shapes (ovals, squares, triangles).
  • Have the students describe the lines (straight, curvy, diagonal).

Summary

Elicit critiques (I liked or disliked the sculpture because …); record responses.

Assessment

Have the children write a brief narrative describing what the couple is saying.

Florida Standards

Florida Visual Arts Standards Grades K-5

  • Vocabulary: VA.1.C.3.1 / VA.2.C.3.1 / VA.3.C.3.1 / VA.4.C.3.1 / VA.1.S.1.4/ VA.2.S.1.4 / VA.3.S.1.4 / VA.4.S.1.4 / VA.5.S.1.4
  • Interpret and Reflect: VA.K.C.1 .2 / VA.1.C.1.2 / VA.2.C.1.2 / VA.3.C.1.2 / VA.4.C.1.2 / VA.5.C.1.2
  • Artist’s intent: VA.5.C.3.2
  • Critique art: VA.3.C.3.3 / VA.4.C.3.3 / VA.5.C.3.3
  • Identify shapes: MAFS.K.G.1.2 / MAFS.4.G.1.2 / MAFS.5.G.2.4

Florida Visual Arts Standards Grades 6-8

  • Vocabulary: VA.68.C.3.1 
  • Interpret and Reflect: VA.68.C.1.2
  • Artist’s intent: VA.68.S.1.5
  • Describe art from selected cultures: VA.68.H.1.1
  • Critique art: VA.68.C.3.3

Florida Visual Arts Standards Grades 9-12

  • Interpret and Reflect: VA.912.C.1
  • Vocabulary: VA.912.C.3.1
  • Describe art from selected cultures: VA.912.H.1
  • Critique art: VA.912.C.3
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