Pelion Little Train
and Giorgio de Chirico
MAY 22, 2021 | ANO LECHONIA | 12 MIN
Seal Of Pylos
A few days later, I found my line in the paintings of the famous Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico. For example, the one titled Piazza d’Italia. This is one of many paintings with this title. And one of the many showing the same square. Let’s say right away – a square existing only in the artist’s imagination. The theme comes from the so-called the metaphysical period, falling roughly in the years 1911-1920. I am writing a motif because de Chirico later repeatedly painted a copy or versions of his earlier paintings, so exact dating is difficult. The works of an Italian painter from the metaphysical period use several standard elements: a building with arched arcades, a monument, empty streets, lonely figures, deep shadows and … a train – usually somewhere in the background, never in the foreground, as if not always the most important element. Actually, not even a train, but just a narrow-gauge railway, like a toy for children.
de Chirico and Pelion
Aegean Sea and the ocean of green
Maleas to Astros
small is beautiful
Gardens of Eden in Milies
little train starts to move
The task seems completely backbreaking, because in these pictures almost everything is static. So what is moving in Herman’s film? The water in the fountain begins to splash, the shadows of buildings move, the ship catches the wind in its sails. However, the small Pelion railway is the most moving. It moves from one edge of the painting to the other, it blows out steam from the chimney happily, and it also lends the basic sound of the film – the characteristic sound of train wheels. There is, however, a way out of the somewhat claustrophobic world of de Chirico’s paintings, full of dark metaphysics and absurd geometry. All you need to do is take the train, whatever … It all looks like a metaphor and a prophecy of human life: you will live in a paradise full of mysteries and metaphysics and leave this world in search of other miracles. With many artists it is correct, but maybe not only with artists.
For people fascinated by the subject of narrow-gauge railways and the history of the Pelion Peninsula, I paste the following video. Dozens of photos from the time when the little train was built at the turn of the 19th/20th century, unique fragments of films from the period of operation the train make it a completely unique document.