Giorgio de Chirico, Orfeo Solitario, 1973
The Carlo Bilotti Museum's permanent collection consists of the gift of 23 works donated by the entrepreneur Carlo Bilotti to the City of Rome, including paintings, drawings and sculptures. The most coherent and central group is made up of 18 works by Giorgio de Chirico (Volos 1888-Rome 1978), of which 17 are displayed in this room and one, a sculpture of Hector and Andromache, is installed outside the Museum. The collection also contains the portraits of Andy Warhol’s Tina and Lisa Bilotti, 1981 Larry Rivers’ Carlo with Dubuffet on the background, 1994, Mimmo Rotella’s Carlo and Tina Bilotti, 1968. Completing the original nucleus of the collection Summer, 1951, by Gino Severini and Cardinal, 1965, by Giacomo Manzu. In this first group have been added in recent years works Consagra, Dynys, Greenfield-Sanders and Pucci.
Other works are: the portraits of Tina and Lisa Bilotti, 1981, by Andy Warhol (Pittsburg 1928- New York 1987) and Carlo with Dubuffet in the background, 1994, by Larry Rivers (New York 1923-2002), the painting The Summer, 1951, by Gino Severini (Cortona 1883 - Paris 1966), and finally a large Cardinal in bronze by Giacomo Manzù (Bergamo 1908 - Roma 1991), displayed outside.
The de Chirico works on display are representative of the most famous themes produced by the artist from the second half of the Twenties until the Seventies. Themes such as the Archaeologists, the Horses on the River Bank, the Furniture in the Valley or the Room, the Knights or Ancient Warriors, all arose from a happy period of creativity and international recognition, following the years of the first Metaphysical period. In addition to the themes listed above, which appear in the museum in such masterly works as The Mysterious Archaeologists of 1926 and the Furniture in the Room of 1927, other particularly notable pictures on display include the delicate Back of a Naked Woman (about 1930), with which de Chirico, influenced by Renoir, returned to the genre of the female nude, Metaphysical Interior with Biscuits and Mystery and Melancholy of a Street. These last two are replicas, made by the artist in the Sixties, from his masterpieces of the first Metaphysical period. In his works from the Fifties, Self-portrait with the head of Minerva, in which de Chirico wears the dress of a Venetian painter, and Historic regatta in Venice, inspired by Canaletto, the artist declares the necessity of recovering the Italian pictorial tradition.
Severini’s neofuturistic work, Summer (1951), bears witness from another angle to the diverse threads of the Bilotti collection. The sorrowful woman, whose contours lose themselves in an almost abstract geometric structure, are part of a series of works dedicated to the theme of human activity as it is connected to the seasons, which the artist subsequently reworked for the Palace of Congress in EUR district in Rome.