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Carlo Carrà: Metaphysical for a Moment

Carlo Carrà - Western Horseman - 1917 - Oil on canvas - 52 x 67 cm - Private CollectionItalian painter Carlo Carrá (1881-1966) was a leading figure of the Futurist movement that flourished in Italy during the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to his many paintings, he wrote a number of books concerning art and he taught for many years in the city of Milan. 

In 1917 he met Giorgio de Chirico in Ferrara, and worked with him there for several weeks. Influenced by de Chirico, Carrà began including mannequin imagery in his paintings, and together they formed the short-lived “Metaphysical Art Movement”. The work featured here is one of Carrà’s metaphysical works. The movement broke up over a dispute between de Chirico and Carrà over who exactly established it. Ah…the ego of some artists!

By 1919, Carrà's metaphysical phase was giving way to an “archaicism” inspired by the works of Giotto, whom he admired as "the artist whose forms are closest to our manner of conceiving the construction of bodies in space.” However, Carrà is best known for his Futurist works.

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