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DIEGO GIACOMETTI (1902-1985) & ALBERTO GIACOMETTI (1901-1966)
Diego Giacometti's work merges the worlds of sculpture and furniture design into one remarkable whole. His exquisitely designed and carefully crafted bronze tables, firescreens, lamps and candlesticks are lovingly brought to life by the artist's own unique imagination, his extraordinary sense of proportion and his profound love of nature and the animal world.
The son of the Swiss Fauve painter Giovanni Giacometti and younger brother of the famous sculptor Alberto, Diego Giacometti belonged to a close-knit and highly artistic family who grew up in the small valley of Bregaglia in the south-east of Switzerland. As brothers, Diego and Alberto were especially close and worked in intimate proximity for much of their adult lives. It is now known that Diego was responsible for much of the practical side, making many of Alberto's surrealistic sculptures as well as a number of lamp stands that were commissioned by the interior designer Jean-Michel Frank for his apartment. These remarkable lamps with their elongated forms and female heads, conceived by Alberto and executed by his younger brother, mark the beginning of Diego's life-long fascination with furniture design.
In the early 1930s Diego discovered the secret to a unique and highly regarded patination technique for bronze casting which characterises much of both brothers' work and which was jealously guarded by the two of them for the rest of their lives.
In the post-war era, Diego found a new freedom in the elongated form of his furniture design which allowed him to develop a magical world in which his magnificently rendered animals take on the appearance of ancient Etruscan sculpture. Becoming increasingly popular in the late 1960s, Diego's work began to emerge in its own right from the shadow of his elder brother's oeuvre after his death in 1966. In the 1970s Diego received many important commissions from decorators and private clients alike, including an important commission to design a number of fittings for the Musée Picasso in Paris. Since his death in 1985, his reputation as one of the foremost sculptor-artisans of his age has continued to grow.