Born in Greece, de Chirico originally studied engineering but instead became a painter. In 1917, together with Carlo Carrà, de Chirico founded the brief but significant movement, Metaphysical Painting. De Chirico’s paintings of this time are characterised by stage-sets populated by mannequins and objects removed from their original context; creating a poetic imagery which evokes enigmatic myths and dreams. It was for these paintings that André Breton claimed that de Chirico was the pioneer of Surrealism, and, whilst not part of the movement, he was one of the movement’s great heroes. From the late 1920s de Chirico’s style evolved to combine motifs from antiquity and the influence of both Renoir and Rubens.