Lot 16
  • 16

Alberto Giacometti

1,500,000 - 2,000,000 USD
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Alberto Giacometti
  • Diego (tĂȘte sur socle cubique)
  • inscribed with the signature Alberto Giacometti, numbered 6/6 and with the foundry mark Susse Fondeur Paris
  • bronze
  • Height: 12 in.
  • 30.5 cm
Conceived in 1958.


Galerie Maeght, Paris (acquired in 1960)
The Pace Gallery, New York (acquired in 1965)
Acquired by the present owner from the above on April 29, 1994


Jacques Dupin, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1962, n.n., p. 277, illustration of the plaster 
Exh. Cat., Paris, Centre Pompidou, L'Atelier d'Alberto Giacometti:Collection de la Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, 2007-08, p. 193, no. 223, color illustration of the plaster

Catalogue Note

The present work is an iconic rendering of Giacometti's younger brother Diego, arguably his most important model, who played a central role in the artist's personal and professional life. Diego devoted a major part of his own artistic career to assisting Alberto with his sculpture and supervising the casting of his bronzes. By the early 1950s, Alberto had gained considerable critical recognition in Paris and had amassed a broad clientele, while Diego had just begun to design his bronze furniture, which would finally make him famous in his own right. Well aware of his younger brother's talent, Alberto encouraged Diego to pursue his own career. Nevertheless, Alberto relied heavily upon his brother's expertise and recognized him as indispensable in the production of numerous innovative sculptures. The present work from 1958 provides one of Alberto's more realistic portrayals of his brother's features, calling attention to the complexity of the human psyche and the transfixing, psychological power of the younger man's gaze. Discussing the sculptures executed during this period, Yves Bonnefoy wrote: "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 demands 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." (Y. Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti, A Biography of his Work, Paris, 1991, p. 432)

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Giacometti and it is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti database as AGD 3903.