Giorgio De Chirico was born on July 10, 1888, in Volos, the capital of Thessaly, Greece. His both parents were of Italian heritage. His father, named Evaristo De Chirico, was a railroad engineer. His mother, named Gemma Cervetto, was a noblewoman of Genoese origin. His brother, Andrea, was two years junior, he later adopted a pseudonym of Alberto Domenico Savino in his work as a writer and musician. The two brothers supported each other through their entire life.
Giorgio De Chirico studied drawing with the Greek painter Mavrudis in Athens, where he attended the Athens Polytechnic Institute from 1900-1906. In 1906 his father died and the family moved to Munich. There De Chirico attended the 'Akademie der Bildenden Kunste' (Academy of Arts). He also learned from the German artistic, literary and philosophical culture; he read Friedrich Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and Weininger. At that time Munich was the center for innovations in art and design, where exhibited Arnold Boeklin, Max Klinger, Franz Marc, and Wassily Kandinsky.
In 1910, De Chirico visited Milan, Turin, and Florence, where he enjoyed the Italian art, especially the primitive Tuscan painting. In 1911, he settled with his brother Andrea in Paris. There he joined the circle of Guillaume Apollinaire, where he met Constantin Brancusi, Andre Derain, Max Jacob, 'Fernand Leger' and others. His early metaphysical works were shown at the 'Salon Automne' and 'Salon des Independants' during 1912-1913, where he was noticed by Pablo Picasso. Guillaume Apollinaire organized a show of 30 works by De Chirico and published a review describing his art as 'Methaphysical' in 'L'intrasingeant'.
During the First World War De Chirico was back in Italy, where he enlisted in the Italian Army and served at the hospital at Ferrara. There he met artists De Pisis and Carra, with whom later formed the group that was called the 'Scuola Metafisica'. His text 'We Methaphysicists' was published in 1919 for his first personal exhibition in Rome. His art was shown throughout Europe and gained attention from all major Surrealist, Dadaist and Bauhaus artists,
From 1929-1930 De Chirico was married to the Russian ballet dancer Raissa Gurievich Kroll. He worked with the 'Russian Ballet' company of Sergei Diaghilev. De Chirico designed scenery and costumes for the 'Russian Ballet' production of 'Le Bal' by the Italian composer Vittorio Rieti with choreography by George Balanchine. He also taught drawing, and among his many Russian students was Oleg Cassini. At that time he illustrated the book 'Le Mystere Laic' by Jean Cocteau.
He married another Russian emigree Isabella Pakswer in 1930, this second marriage lasted for the rest of his life. The couple moved to Italy in 1932, and eventually settled permanently in Rome. De Chirico became a regular exhibitor at Venice Biennale. In 1948 he was nominated into the Royal Society of British Artists in London. During the 40's and 50's he was embittered by numerous arguments as he had to denounce many forgeries of his works flooding the market. He returned to scenography in the 60's. At that time he also produced a number of bronze sculptures. He received the title of Academic of France and the Cross of the Great Officer from FRG.
Giorgio De Chirico died on November 20, 1978, in Rome, and was laid to rest in the Church of St. Francis at Ripa, in Rome.