Lot 12
  • 12

Alberto Giacometti

Estimate
800,000 - 1,200,000 GBP
Sold
1,594,500 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Alberto Giacometti
  • Figurine sur grand socle
  • signed A. Giacometti, numbered 1/6 and inscribed with the foundry mark Alexis Rudier. Fondeur. Paris
  • painted bronze

Provenance

Pierre Matisse, New York (acquired from the artist in November 1950)

Frank Stanton, Boston, Massachusetts (sold: Christie's, New York, 7th May 2008, lot 423)

Purchased at the above sale

Literature

Paule-Marie Grand, 'Giacometti', in Portfolio & ARTnews Annual, 1960, no. 3, illustration of another cast p. 75 (titled Woman)

Palma Bucarelli, Giacometti, Rome, 1962, no. 69, illustration of another cast (as dating from 1956)

Franz Meyer, Alberto Giacometti visto por los fotógrafos, Madrid, 1990, another cast illustrated in a photograph p. 76

Catalogue Note

Giacometti's Figurine sur grand socle personifies one of the most iconic images of the artist's œuvre – the standing female nude. Executed in 1950, it was a precursor to the Femme de Venise series, and was a starting point for Giacometti's most distinctive line of experimentation with the female form. Throughout the 1940s and up until his death in 1966, Giacometti created several variations of a solitary nude woman, her long, lean body firmly anchored to a base. With its multiple and conflicting thematic connotations of stoicism, resilience, passivity, solitude, strength and vulnerability, it embodies the Existentialist concerns of many artists and intellectuals working in post-war Paris. The timeless quality and rough treatment of the bronze surface in the present work are reminiscent of artefacts of ancient civilisations, such as Egyptian statues or Cycladic fertility goddesses, which were an important source of inspiration for Giacometti.

Figurine sur grand socle is distinguished for the dramatic difference in scale between the thin, elongated female form, and the large, solid base from which the figure rises. Valerie Fletcher wrote: 'Giacometti sought to grasp the entirety of his subject, usually a bust or standing figure. To convey that sense of wholeness, he portrayed each as if seen from afar. Thus the disproportionately large bases were intended to create the illusion that the figures are located at a distance, where they appear small and indistinct, yet retain a sense of reality' (V. Fletcher in Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., 1988, p. 118). To further enhance the sense of sublimated realism Giacometti cold-painted the present cast. This process, which subtly highlights the hair and distinguishes the figure from its over-sized base, was a particular feature of a number of his smaller scaled bronzes and it reinforces the importance place they occupy in his work.

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