Alberto Savinio


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Status, price and estimation of the artist Alberto Savinio

Price of a painting: 9,000 – 665,000 €.

Estimate of a drawing: 1 900 – 44,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 200 – 2,800 €.

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Alberto Savinio’s journey

Savinio Alberto was born in Athens in 1891 to a father who was a railway engineer, explaining the importance of trains in his work. He is the brother of the famous painter Gorgio de Chirico, and although the latter is renowned for having created metaphysical painting, Andrea was the originator of metaphysical writing.

He studied piano at the conservatory in his hometown and when his father died in 1905, he perfected his technique with Max Reger in Munich. From the age of 15, he produced his own songs, Carmela, and composed more in the years that followed. He also developed a strong interest in painting and literature. The war interrupted his activities and when it ended, he published Hermaphrodito in 1918, which only reached a small but prestigious audience when it came out, like Apollinaire or Cocteau. It was Cocteau, moreover, who presented his first Parisian exhibition in 1927. He then moved to Milan and then Rome in 1937.

A metaphysical and total work

Savinio’s work may appear blurred in some respects, especially in terms of form. Savinio has indeed tried several formats, essays, short stories, biographies etc. but he intrigues and blurs the tracks, taking away the labels. But landmarks remain, such as his particular attraction to autobiography (Tragedy of Childhood 1920). Savinio actually constructs a total work where his writings sometimes link and complement each other. (Men, tell yourselves)

A characteristic of his work is the shadow of death hovering over it. He called this universal fatality the “Presence”. The latter is defined in opposition to childhood. Between the two lies the life to which he wishes to give meaning. To do so, he tries to discover a link between all eras, all cultures – helped by his high level of erudition -. It is from this desire for unity that the apparent chaos of his work emerges.

Savino and hermaphroditism

In reality, this link he was looking for, Carle Jung was the first to find the words: the collective unconscious. Although the subject seems somewhat austere, it is precisely through his talent and his playful style that Savinio shines, his maxim being: “it is through the superficial that one must reach depth”. This collective unconscious is developed by the artist thanks to the concept of hermaphrodism embodied by Mercury in his story The Rooster. For Jung, Mercury in alchemy contains “the male and the female” hence the title of his major work Hermaphrodito.

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