De Chirico was an influential pre-Surrealist and then Surrealist Italian painter born in Volos, Greece, to a Genovese mother and a Sicilian father. He founded the scuola metafisica art movement.
After studying art in Athens and Florence, De Chirico moved to Germany in 1906 and entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (the same one that rejected Adolf Hitler in 1907), where he read the writings of the philosophers Nietzsche and Arthur Schopenhauer, and studied the works of Arnold Böcklin and Max Klinger.
He remained extremely prolific even as he approached his 90th year. In 1974 he was elected to the French Académie des Beaux-Arts. He died in Rome on November 20, 1978. Estimated between €14,000 et €18,000, this self portrait although not particularly interesting or beautiful was sold on auction for €20,800 ($26,097) in Milan, Italy in November 2008.