De Chirico



Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) is an Italian painter inventor of a work, later described as metaphysical. Precursor of surrealism, he then will evolve towards a kind of classical art’s pastiche. His early paintings are based on a new way of seeing things and looking for their hidden meaning, without any divine alternative.



The disturbing and strange atmosphere of these paintings has always fascinated me.

The purpose of this project was to give life to Giorgio De Chirico’s work, while trying to keep the profound sense of mystery that pervades into his paintings, the most intact and faithful as possible.


The world set out by the artist is a world where everyday objects and ordinary life’s scenes take an unusual, almost impenetrable property. From these desolate spaces, with absurd perspectives, may nevertheless arise a curious sense of serenity; certainly strengthened by the  omnipresent sun, generating enigmatic shadows.

Giorgio de Chirico painting - 2d compositing and graphic editing (before-after)


At first, paintings were cut out in order to position each key element at different levels of depth: foreground, background... The challenge was to recreate material where there was none, to later being able to benefit from greater flexibility with camera moves.

Thus each object, each layer, being independent, could be animated through After Effects. A parallax effect was then created thanks to smooth travelling shots.

Finally, because of the palpable peace covered into the paintings, but also not to corrupt artist’s work, motion as well as sound design, had to be measured and subtle.

Giorgio de Chirico animated painting - Smoke created with Trapcode Particular


…this project is above all an invitation to dream and fantasy and a humble tribute to the surreal and strange world of Giorgio de Chirico.

Giorgio de Chirico painting loop animated with After Effects


VICE Creators (04/2016 © Vice Media Inc.

Creative Boom (04/2016 © Creative Boom Ltd.

RAI CULTURA Arte & Design (05/2016 © RAI TV.

Hyperallergic (05/2016 © Hyperallergic Media Inc.

LIFO (10/2016 © LIFO Magazine.)


Motion & sound design

There are more enigmas in the shadow of a man who walks in the sun, than in all the religions of the past, present or future.
— GIORGIO DE CHIRICO (1913) Giorgio & Isa De Chirico Foundation's archives

All rights reserved © 2019 — Julien Herman