Stamped with the foundry mark M. Pastori Cire Perdue and numbered 5/6.
World House Gallery Corporation, New York (sold: Sotheby's, London, December 5, 1962, lot 167)
A. E. Goldschmidt, Stamford, Connecticut (acquired at the above sale)
A. E. Goldschmidt Trust, Greenwich, Connecticut
Thence by descent to the present owner
Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1986, no. 95, illustration of another cast
Alberto Giacometti: Skulpturen, Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Graphik (exhibition catalogue), Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1987-88, no. 143, illustration of another cast
Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966 (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Vienna; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 1996, no. 138, illustration of another cast
Hommage an "E.W.K.," Meisterwerke von Giovanni, Alberto und Diego Giacometti aus der Sammlung von Eberhard W. Kornfeld (exhibition catalogue), Kunstmuseum, Bern, 1998, no. 32, illustration of another cast
Werke aus der Sammlung Eberhard W. Kornfeld (exhibition catalogue), Kirchner Museum, Davos, 1998-99, no. 115, illustration of another cast
Diego is one of Alberto Giacometti’s first sculptural portraits of his younger brother, who was the artist’s primary model throughout the 1950s and 1960s. These portraits of Diego indicate the close relationship that the two men shared, and Alberto’s familiarity with his subject undoubtedly aided in the artistic freedom with which he could approach his work. The Giacometti brothers collaborated for much of their professional lives, and their reliance upon each other’s creative support is well known. As was the case for most of his sculptures, Alberto conceived the model in clay on an armature and Diego assisted with the bronze casting. By the time he created this work, Alberto already had attracted significant critical recognition throughout Europe. Diego, on the other hand, had only just begun to design the bronze furniture that would make him famous in his own right. Although Alberto always encouraged his brother to develop his artistic talent, he also recognized that Diego was indispensable to the production of his innovative sculptures. The brothers’ relationship was shaped by a mutual loyalty and respect that ultimately helped each man make the most of his talent. Annette Arm accounted for this when discussing her husband Alberto in 1952: “He remains always his same anxious self, but fortunately, he has a brother who is more calm and understands him well” (quoted in James Lord, Giacometti, A Biography, New York, 1983, p. 329).
In his monograph on Giacometti, Yves Bonnefoy has discussed these sculptural portraits of the 1950s: “These sculpted faces compel one to face them as if one were speaking to the person, meeting his eyes and thereby understanding better the compression, the narrowing that Giacometti imposed on the chin or the nose or the general shape of the skull. This was the period when Giacometti was most strongly conscious of the fact that the inside of the plaster or clay mass which he modeled was something inert, undifferentiated, nocturnal, that it betrays the life he sought to represent, and that he must therefore strive to eliminate this purely spatial dimension by constricting the material to fit the most prominent characteristics of the face. This is exactly what he achieves with amazing vigor, when occasionally he gave Diego’s face a blade-like narrowness – drawing seems to have eliminated the plaster, the head has escaped from space – and demand therefore that the spectator stand in front of the sculpture as he did himself, disregarding the back and sides of his model and as bound to a face-to-face relationship as in the case of work at an easel. As Giacometti once said, 'There is no difference between painting and sculpture.' Since 1945, he added, 'I have been practicing them both indifferently, each helping me to do the other. In fact, both of them are drawings, and drawing has helped me to see' " (Yves Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti, A Biography of His Work, Paris, 1991, pp. 432-36).
Fig. 1, The artist's studio in 1966 with the plaster of the present work on the table. Photograph by Daniel Frasnay
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