After having a metaphysical revelation in Piazza Santa Croce, he painted his first metaphysical paintings: L’énigme de l’oracle, L’énigme d‘un après-midi d’automne and L’énigme de l’heure.
On 14 July 1911, de Chirico and his mother joined his brother in Paris. There, inspired by Turin’s architecture and the teachings of Nietzschean philosophy, he worked on the theme of Italian squares. In March 1913, he exhibited three paintings at the Salon des Indépendants, where he was noticed by Picasso and Apollinaire. A collaboration and friendship commenced with Apollinaire that would last for many years. In 1914, via Apollinaire he met his first art merchant: Paul Guillaume. In 1915, he began his cycle of works characterized by “mannequins”.
In May that same year, he presented himself to the military authorities in Florence and was transferred to Ferrara. Here, he began painting his first metaphysical interiors. Between 1917 and 1918, he produced his best-known works: Il grande metafisico, Ettore e Andromaca, Il Trovatore and Le muse inquietanti (1918).
He stayed in touch with his Parisian circle and sent his works to Paul Guillaume. He moved to Rome on 1 January 1919. That February, he held his first solo show at the Casa d’Arte Bragaglia. De Chirico rediscovered the art of great artists of the past in museums and began making copies of works by Italian Renaissance masters like Raphael and Michelangelo.
In 1924, he met his first wife Raissa Gourevitch Krol, in Rome. In late 1925, he moved back to Paris. The figures he painted were archaeologists, horses by the sea, trophies, landscapes within rooms, furniture in a valley, and gladiators.
The Surrealists harshly criticized his most recent works. His break-up with the group became inevitable, and was only destined to worsen in the following years. In 1929, Pierre Lévy’s Éditions du Carrefour published “Hebdomeros, le peintre et son génie chez l’ écrivain”. In 1930, his marriage to Raissa ended. That same year, he met his second wife, Isabella Pakszwer Far, with whom he remained until his death.
He left for New York in August 1936 and returned to Italy in early January 1938. In the 1940s, he began working on a series of terracotta sculptures. In 1941, he illustrated the Apocalypse of St. John. During the 1948 Venice Biennale, Francesco Arcangeli staged an exhibition in which the prize for metaphysical painting was awarded to Giorgio Morandi. The group of works on display included a “most excellent fake”.
In 1950, after falling out with the Biennale, de Chirico put on his own “Antibiennale” at the headquarters of the Società Canottieri Bucintoro in Venice. In 1952, he married Isabella. On 5 May that year, his brother Alberto Savinio died. From the end of the Sixties, de Chirico transported his metaphysical subjects into joyful, colour-filled contexts, in what he called “Neometaphysics”. He died on 20 November 1978. In 1992 his, remains were laid to rest in the Rome Church of San Francesco a Ripa.