Description of the picture:
Gladiator cycle – creative transfer to the antiquity of scenes from the boxing ring. According to the memoirs of the first of the artist’s friends, in the 1920s, de Chirico was interested in boxing and wrestling. Lured him "athletes and ruthless games". IN "Abdomomeros" he admitted that he was able to realize what is the beauty and deep meaning of boxing. From the very beginning, the gladiators’ motive has been associated with the almost unmasked theme of homosexuality.
Picture "At the school of gladiators"
Picture "At the school of gladiators". 1927.55×46
Picture "At the school of gladiators" written by 1927. The figure of the philosopher in the picture on the wall on the right recalls his own posture "Thinker" Auguste Rodin The composition itself is very ordinary. On the frontal plane are two gladiators in loincloths. The soldier, standing on the left with a knife in his right hand, froze like a statue. The 2nd gladiator, with the grayish color of his own skin, recalls a sculpture from a completely different era, his face covered in a mask of feathers.
The figures are generalized, somewhat hyperbolized. They seem to be frozen and petrified inhabitants of the sleepy kingdom. The fixed postures of the gladiators are even somewhat exaggerated. The artist does not depict people, but papier-mâché or wax figures. The enclosed space is an artistic metaphor for ring illuminated by floodlights. Well, the light itself, annoying, unnatural, contributes to a certain "carry" Antique scene in modern times.
Picture "Gladiators". 1936. 117×89
Over time, the gladiator cycle undergoes a certain evolution. There is a transition of the artist to a realistic manner inherent in classical painting. "Gladiators"created in 1936, have a composition inscribed in a triangle. The figures here are less schematic and much more dynamic than in previous canvases of the cycle. And the carefully worked out tensed muscles of the rivals testify to the painter’s deep knowledge of anatomy.
Picture "Arena gladiators battle"
Picture "Arena gladiators battle". 1948. 60×100
Twelve years later, working on "The battle of gladiators in the arena"de Chirico closer to realism. Natural colors make it possible to faithfully reproduce Roman historical realities. Each gesture of the gladiators is imprinted with an exceptional elaboration of details, while the arena and the blood-thirsty crowd are depicted very conditionally. The color and composition of the picture resembles an antique fresco. Probably, such a hoax was entirely included in de Chirico’s plans, because the heroic, at first glance, plot is full of irony and even a certain share of the grotesque. All the characters froze with a loaded weapon, as if unable to move. Dynamics again turns into static."