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© Giorgio de Chirico/Bildupphovsrätt 2019
Country:Italy (1303)
Giorgio de Chirico
1888 - 1978
Italy Le Cerveau de l'enfant, 1914
Barnets hjärna
The Child's Brain
Oil on canvas
80 x 65 cm
Purchase 1964 (The Museum of Our Wishes)
NM 6068 This artwork is not on display
- About the work

Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic theories and ideas on the subconscious were an early influence on Giorgio de Chirico. If the artist succeeded in liberating itself from all human limits and defying logic and common sense, the art could reach the realm of childhood, visions and dreams. In the 1910s, De Chirico painted ominous urban landscapes with heavily warped perspectives.


The man with his eye closed in The Child’s Brain is one of the father figures that began to make their appearance in de Chirico’s paintings after his father’s premature death in 1905. The red ribbon between the pages in the book links the viewer, who is in the position of the painter, to the dead father. A thin but opaque curtain cuts through the pictorial space, as if to mark a distance and inability to make contact.


Moderna Museet acquired this work from the surrealist leader and poet André Breton in connection with the exhibition The Museum of Our Wishes in 1964. All the surrealists had seen the painting in Breton’s home, and it had made a crucial impression on many of them. What they saw was a surrealist image created ten years before the first surrealist manifesto was written.

- Signature, inscriptions, and markings
- Exhibition history
- Exhibition catalogues
- Bibliography
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