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The divine horses of Achilles, Balios and Xanthos



Giorgio de Chirico


10 Jul 1888 - 20 Nov 1978


De Chirico emerged as a proto-surrealist some 20 years before Surrealism became a movement. Later he rejected modernist originality and began copying from old master styles and even remaking his own earlier paintings. His visionary and poetic images evoke nostalgia, enigma and myth. He was a source of inspiration for European artists in the 1920s and 1930s then fell from favour till he was resurrected by post-modern appropriation artists in the 1980s (for example Imants Tillers and Christopher le Brun).


Other Title

Antique horses

Alternative title

Les chevaux divins d'Achille, Balios et Xanthos Chevaux Antiques au Bord de la Mer Egee



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


96.5 x 87.0 cm

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., oil "G. de Chirico/... 1963". Signed and dated u.c. verso, ink ".../ Giorgio de Chirico/ ... 25 Dicembre 1963". Signed l.c., oil G. de Chirico".


Purchased 2006


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Giorgio de Chirico

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Isabella de Chirico, Rome/Italy, inscription verso

Artcurial Centre d'Art Plastique Contemporain, Paris, Paris/France, exhibited in 'De Chirico: néo-baroque' 1985 and 'De Chirico et ses Consequences Post-Metaphysiques' 1993 at Artcurial Centre d'Art Plastique Contemporain, Paris

Private Collection, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia

Deutscher-Menzies, Sydney, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Purchased by the AGNSW from Deutscher-Menzies 2006. 'Australian and International Fine Art, Melbourne and Sydney', 14 June 2006,

Referenced in 7 publications


Artcurial Centre d'Art Plastique Contemporain, Paris, De Chirico: néo-baroque, Paris, 1985., as 'Chevaux Antiques au Bord de la Mer Egee'

Claudio Bruni Sakraischik, Catalogo generale Giorgio De Chirico, Milan, 1971, (illus.). 21 volumes

Giorgio de Chirico, De Chirico by de Chirico, New York, 1972, 70 (illus.). as 'Antique horses'

Deutscher-Menzies, Sydney, Australian + international fine art, Sydney, Wednesday, 14 June, 2006, Sydney, 2006, (colour illus.).

Pere Gimferrer, Giorgio de Chirico, New York, 1989, (colour illus.).

Wieland Schmied, De Chirico: Leben und Werk, Munich, circa 1980, 262 (colour illus.).

Imants Tillers, Look, 'Gallery buys a de Chirico', pg.22-24, Sydney, Dec 2006-Jan 2007, 22, 23 (colour illus.).