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The Soothsayer's Recompense
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The Soothsayer's Recompense

Giorgio de Chirico, Italian (born Greece), 1888 - 1978

Made in France, Europe


Oil on canvas

53 3/8 × 70 7/8 inches (135.6 × 180 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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This painting is one of a series of melancholic cityscapes that de Chirico painted featuring a lone statue in a deserted Italian piazza. The antique statue represents the sleeping Ariadne, who according to Greek mythology was abandoned by her lover on the desert island of Naxos.

The confrontation of the classical world with a modern steam engine in the distance creates an uneasy ambiguity of time and space.


With Paul Guillaume, Paris; sold to Galerie à la Vierge Poupine, Brussels, September 30, 1926; René Gaffé, Brussels, 1927 [1]; sold through Marcel Duchamp as agent to Louise Arensberg (1879-1953) and Walter C. Arensberg (1878-1954), Los Angeles, 1932; gift to PMA, 1950. 1. Paolo Baldacci, De Chirico: The Metaphysical Period, 1888-1919, trans. by Jeffrey Jennings, Boston, 1997, no. 31, illus. 2. According to provenance notes made by Marcel Duchamp (letter of 8 Sept. 1951 to Arensbergs, PMA Arensberg Archives, CA Use Tax 1951).