Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
Property from the Estate of Jacquelyn Miller Matisse
Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)


Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
signed 'Alberto Giacometti' (lower right)
pencil on paper
12 ½ x 9 ¾ in. (31.8 x 24.8 cm.)
Drawn circa 1940-1941
Pierre Matisse, New York.
Pierre-Noël Matisse, Paris (by descent from the above).
By descent from the above to the late owner.
Sale room notice
Please note this lot is listed under the number AGD 4024 in the Alberto Giacometti Database.

Brought to you by

Sonja Ganne
Sonja Ganne

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

"One has to focus uniquely and exclusively on drawing," Alberto Giacometti once said. "If one could master drawing, everything else would be possible" (quoted in J. Lord, Dessins de Giacometti, Paris, 1971, p. 26). Giacometti drew all his life, at times using the medium as a preparation for his sculptures and at others as a concentrated study of the objects around him.
In the present work, a head emerges from intricate, frenetic crossroads of lines and curves. The sitter is Diego, Giacometti's brother, who served as a model throughout the artist's entire career. As Alberto's devoted brother, his reliable studio help-mate, as well as a sculptor in his own right, Diego was as close as possible to being a virtual extension of the artist himself.
Through his art, Alberto Giacometti aimed at possessing the very act of seeing; he strived to depict people as visual phenomena. “Heads, figures are nothing but the perpetual movement of their inside, of their outside, they re-make themselves with no pause, they are not a real consistence” Giacometti wrote. “They are a moving mass” (quoted in A. de la Beaumelle, ed., Alberto Giacometti: Le dessin l'oeuvre, exh. cat., Paris, 2001, p. 190). Tête is the materialization of Alberto’s experience of perception. His lines--fast moving, juxtaposed, curved in tense evolutions--capture that ineffable, ever changing essence of the presence of a human being.

More from Alberto and Diego Giacometti: Masters of Design

View All
View All