Lot 37
  • 37

Alberto Giacometti

300,000 - 400,000 GBP
509,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Alberto Giacometti
  • Dr. Fraenkel
  • inscribed Alberto Giacometti, numbered 1/6 and with the foundry mark Susse Fondr Paris
  • bronze


Jacques Dubourg, Paris

Walter Feichenfeldt, Zurich

Private Collection, Portugal

Marlborough Fine Art Ltd., London

Galleria Tega, Milan

Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Dr. Theodore Fraenkel was for thirty years one of Giacometti’s closest friends and also his physician: 'Fraenkel was exceptionally timid, and would sometimes sit for hours without uttering one word. Alberto gave him confidence, drew him out, enabled him to become expansive and talk about himself. The tonic effect was the basis of the friendship between the artist and the doctor, who was more than ready to repay the kindness with advice and medicine when necessary, which was rather often.  Despite Fraenkel’s failure in 1930 to have diagnosed an obvious case of appendicitis, Alberto continued to believe in his competence and proclaimed him the very best doctor in Paris. A perceptive observer might have concluded that such enthusiasm on Alberto’s part could suggest that he was one of the worst!' (James Lord, Giacometti, A Biography, New York, 1983, p. 275). Their friendship ruptured irreparably when Fraenkel, sworn to secrecy by a surgeon, lied to Giacometti and insisted that the sculptor’s operation for cancer had in fact been simply for removal of a gastric ulcer. When he learned the truth, Giacometti was furious and when Fraenkel passed away a year after this incident, Giacometti allegedly remarked “I’m glad he died before I did”.