Art: Old-Fashioned

When he was a young fellow, Italy's Giorgio de Chirico (pronounced keerico) was a red-hot surrealist and an inspiration to other radicals of the easel like Salvador Dali. Most of his favorite themes—the melancholy shadows of late afternoon, the animated manikins, the colonnades and lonely figures in otherwise deserted squares—have since become standard surrealist props.

Now a sour and old-fashioned 60, De Chirico loathes surrealism, deplores his own sparkling past. In London last week for an exhibition of his conservative new paintings, he gave a lecture backing up everything that Royal Academician Sir...

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