Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The joy of the portico

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Schopenhauer, who knew a great deal about such matters, advised his countrymen not to place statues of their famous men on columns and pedestals of excessive height, but to place them on low platforms “like those they use in Italy” he said, “where every marble man seems to be on a level with the passers by and to walk with them.” The imbecilic man…inclines by instinct towards an appearance of mass and height, towards a sort of architectural Wagnerianism. This is a matter of innocence; they are men who are unacquainted with the terribleness of lines and angles, they are drawn towards the infinite, and in this they reveal their limited psyche…But we who know the signs of the metaphysical alphabet are aware of the joy and the solitude enclosed by a portico, the corner of a street, or even in a room, on the surface of a table, between the sides of a box.

Giorgio de Chirico, “On Metaphysical Art”

Written by nevalalee

October 7, 2018 at 7:30 am

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