Metaphysical art was a short-lived, pre-surrealist art movement founded around 1911 by Giorgio de Chirico. His self-identified goal was “painting that which cannot be seen.”
Metaphysically speaking, what cannot be seen in this picture, which Chirico may or may not have known about, was the crowded Saturday street market in my imagination from where the young girl had just rolled her hoop toward the sun-baked expanse somewhere on the outskirts of Versailles.
Mystery and Melancholy of a Street,    Giorgio de Chirico. 1914

Mystery and Melancholy of a Street, Giorgio de Chirico. 1914

The street market was more a farmer’s market than a bazaar. The girl lived on farm with hogs and chickens and rows of pear trees. Her father might be considered a gentleman farmer having inherited his father’s wealth and holdings. His hobby was manufacturing small batches of gourmet sausages, and they were quite popular at the market. 


EPILOGUE: The girl rolls her hoop past the dominant, almost oppressive, shadow with empty freight car parked in front of the facade as an accessory, alongside bleached arches that stretch into another vanishing point, toward a lengthened shadow of a statue she will never reach.