Oreste e Pilade
Giorgio de Chirico
In homage to the theme of antiquity, this sculpture represents the two epic friends, who were inseparable even in Oreste’s desperate task of matricide as revenge for his father’s death at the hands of his mother Clytamenestra and her lover Egistus. One of the titles by which this work was originally known, Ancient Friends, makes more sense of the gesture of the figure on the left, who places his hand affectionately on the other’s shoulder, and of the two heads resting on each other. The theme is addressed, however, using the habitual motif of mannequins with ovoid heads and with their stomachs covered by a proliferation of antique buildings which, in de Chirico’s paintings, characterises archaeologists.