‘One clear autumn afternoon I was sitting on a bench in the middle of the Piazza Santa Croce in Florence. It was of course not the first time I had seen this square...The whole world, down to the marble of the buildings and fountains, seemed to me to be convalescent...Then I had the strange impression I was looking at these things for the first time, and the composition of my picture came to my mind's eye. Now each time I look at that painting I see that moment. Nevertheless the moment is an enigma to me, for it is inexplicable'. (Giorgio de Chirico: Meditations of a Painter, 1912, trans. by Loiuse Bourgeois & Robert Goldwater).