This chapter surveys the work of four artists of the twenties who are often called neo-classical: De Chirico, Severini, Léger, and Picabia. Only De Chirico’s paintings, during a brief period in the early twenties between his so-called pittura metafisica and his later polyphony of style, reflect in their classical themes the simplicity of line and clarity of organization that he admired in Picasso. The others exemplify, like Cocteau and Jahnn, what might be called “classical without classicism.”
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