• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 11793

    Impressionist & Modern Art Works on Paper

    23 June 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 120

    Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)

    Portrait de Soshana

    Price Realised  


    Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
    Portrait de Soshana
    signed and dated ‘Alberto Giacometti. 1958.’ (lower right); inscribed '1' (lower left)
    pencil on paper
    20 1/8 x 12 7/8 in. (51.2 x 32.8 cm.)
    Drawn in 1958

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    The artist Soshana, or Shoshana in Hebrew, was born Susanne Schüller in Vienna in 1927, a daughter of the Jewish bourgeoisie. She fled Austria with her family in the late 1930s, settling in the United States in 1941. There she met and married the painter Beys Afroyim and together they travelled the country, surviving by Schüller painting portraits of America’s European refugees, including the composers Schoenberg and Hans Eisler. For her first solo exhibition in Cuba in 1948, her husband suggested the moniker Soshana, meaning “lily-of-the-valley”. In the early 1950s Soshana abandoned her family to pursue her career as an artist, spending most of the 1950s in Paris. There she befriended artists including Picasso, Max Ernst, Auguste Herbin and Constantin Brancusi, but felt particularly close to Alberto Giacometti. In 1958 Soshana posed for a number of pencil portraits by Giacometti, including the present lot, a gift from the artist.


    Soshana Afroyim, Paris, a gift from the artist; sale, Sotheby's, London, 2 December 1971, lot 36.
    Private collection, London, acquired at the above sale, and thence by descent.

    Pre-Lot Text



    The Alberto Giacometti Database, no. 3596.