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The Cover
September 13, 2000

The Eventuality of Destiny (Monumental Figures)

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(10):1211. doi:10.1001/jama.284.10.1211

By 1927, when Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) painted The Eventuality of Destiny (Monumental Figures) (cover ), his style had undergone a drastic change. Gone are the vast, airless piazzas bordered by lonely arcades; gone are the tiny human figures, overwhelmed by space and time, an afterthought to the massive architecture, its raison d'être (JAMA covers, November 3, 1993, and February 23, 2000). Gone also are the towers, the trains and ships, the stopped clock. In their place are monumental figures, Greek goddesses, The Fates. It is they who now dwarf the human-made architecture. They are no longer outdoors, but indoors, in a room where vestiges of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian styles of architecture may be seen. Wide-hipped, full-breasted, they are Rubenesque in their proportions, clearly goddesses, not humans. But the same claustrophobic sense, the same sense of inevitability, the same feeling that there is no escape, remains. And yet, quite possibly there is: glimpsed just below the breast of the standing figure is a patch of blue sky and fluffy, white clouds. It betokens a breath of air in an otherwise airless chamber.

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