The jovial animal silhouettes and twisting flora that we see within Diego Giacometti’s bronze furniture show the influence that the mythological and dreamlike world of his countryside childhood had on his creativity. Born in the small Swiss alpine village of Borgonovo, Diego Giacometti was immediately immersed into a world of nature, animals and landscape. Diego spent much of his childhood exploring the local area making plaster models of the wildlife that surrounded him; both on the family farm and in the neighbouring Grisons Mountains, where the Giacometti family moved a few years after his birth. Continually moulding and reworking the plaster, Diego would give energy and importance to the everyday farmyard animals and a sense of wildness and wonder to the creatures living in the forests.
Diego’s fascination with the natural world and animal kingdom expanded past the farmyard walls and mountain passes to cover a variety of characters. Humorous narratives are witnessed throughout his works, as seen in Lampadaire aux trois oiseaux (lot 511) where under the lamp shade, the birds standing on a leaf clearly express the fun and enjoyment which Diego had in sculpting them. Foliage-like joins, textures in the feet of Grande table Torsade (Lot 510) or the purity of Grande Table Grecque (Lot 509) reflect an Art Nouveau appreciation of the beauty of the natural form.
Sharing a studio in Paris with his brother Alberto, their working relationship was so close that it is, at times, difficult to distinguish between the two. But it was only after the death of Alberto in 1966 that Diego became celebrated in his own right, producing commissions for such distinguished patrons as the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the Chagall Museum in Nice, and the Picasso Museum in Paris as well as a loyal following of affluent collectors and friends who bought pieces, such as the present lots, directly from the artist’s studio.