Conceived in 1956 with the first examples cast in bronze the following year, the present sculpture is number eight in Giacometti's celebrated series of nine standing female nudes, collectively known as the Femmes de Venise. These standing women are among Giacometti's best known works, praised by many as the artist's most significant contribution not only to the pantheon of modern sculpture but twentieth-century art at large.
In its grace and poise, silent majesty and modernity, Femme de Venise VIII, offered in Sotheby's Modern Evening Auction, is the epitome of Giacometti’s mature vision and an enduring presence in his oeuvre. According to the Fondation Giacometti Femme de Venise VIII was cast in an edition of seven bronzes—among the smaller editions of the various Femmes. The present cast, executed in 1973, is one of seven bronzes in the edition, with other casts held in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Alberto Giacometti Stiftung, Zurich, the Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence and the Fondation Beyeler, Basel. The painted plaster forms part of the collection of the Fondation Giacometti in Paris.