...and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E , Case MB7L, Shelf MP, Box 10

...and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth

Print
1941 (printed and published)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1976) was an Italian artist who forged a style of working known as 'Metaphysical' between about 1911 and 1917, which greatly influenced the Surrealists. It was almost certainly the feeling of impending doom during the Second World War (1939-1945) that drew de Chirico to illustrate the Apocalypse. He may have felt particularly threatened because his wife, Isabella, was Jewish. He may also have been attracted by the fantastical aspect of the Revelations of St John the Divine in the Bible (this image is from Revelations 6:13). De Chirico was also very interested in the work of great artists of the past, and would have been familiar with many earlier Apocalypse illustrations, particularly those by the Renaissance German artist Albrecht Dürer. Parallels can be drawn between Dürer's illustrations and de Chirico's for many of the plates, although this particular illustration has an uncharacteristic nursery book feel to it.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Additional title...e le stelle del cielo caddero sulla terra (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Lithograph on paper, hand coloured with pastels
Brief description
Hand coloured lithograph by Giorgio de Chirico, entitled '...e le stelle dal cielo caddero sulla terra', from the series 'L'Apocalisse'
Physical description
print and pastel crayon on paper
Dimensions
  • Printed surface (irregular) height: 30.1cm
  • Printed surface (irregular) width: 21.9cm
  • Sheet height: 34.5cm
  • Sheet width: 27cm
Styles
Production typeLimited edition
Copy number
Plate 8 from the suite of 20 illustrations to L'Apocaliss (The Apocalypse)
Marks and inscriptions
G de Chirico ....e le stelle del cielo caddero sulla terra. (Signature and title; Italian; pencil (signature) and printed (title))
Production
Attribution note: the hand colouring was carried out under the direction of the artist
Subject depicted
Literary referencethe Bible
Summary
Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1976) was an Italian artist who forged a style of working known as 'Metaphysical' between about 1911 and 1917, which greatly influenced the Surrealists. It was almost certainly the feeling of impending doom during the Second World War (1939-1945) that drew de Chirico to illustrate the Apocalypse. He may have felt particularly threatened because his wife, Isabella, was Jewish. He may also have been attracted by the fantastical aspect of the Revelations of St John the Divine in the Bible (this image is from Revelations 6:13). De Chirico was also very interested in the work of great artists of the past, and would have been familiar with many earlier Apocalypse illustrations, particularly those by the Renaissance German artist Albrecht Dürer. Parallels can be drawn between Dürer's illustrations and de Chirico's for many of the plates, although this particular illustration has an uncharacteristic nursery book feel to it.
Bibliographic references
  • Antonio Vastano: Giorgio de Chirico: Catalogo dell'opera grafica 1921-1969. Edizioni Bora, Bologna, 1966 (cat. no. 111a. illus. p.165)
  • Timmers, Margaret (ed), Impressions of the Twentieth Century: Fine Art Prints from the V&A's Collection, London, V&A Publications, 2001
  • Taken from Departmental Circulation Register 1967
Collection
Accession number
CIRC.903-1967

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Record createdNovember 28, 2002
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