Alberto Giacometti

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Alberto Giacometti Artwork

Dog, 1951


Alberto Giacometti (1901 – 1966)

Artist Alberto Giacometti was born in Switzerland. He was the oldest of four children and the son of a Post-Impressionist painter. When he was about ten, he started drawing with pencil and pastel and many of those drawings exist today. The young Alberto Giacometti then started to try different things with oils and still-life paintings and regularly used his family members as models.

He was enrolled in an Evangelical School in the town of Schiers in 1915. There Giacometti continued his artwork in a small private studio and he later took art classes in Geneva at the École des Arts Industriels. He was taught painting, drawing and sculpture under the Pointillist artist David Estoppey and the sculptor Maurice Sarkissoff. In 1920, he went to Italy with his father and was very interested in the works of the old masters. Before long he moved to Paris, was drawn to Cubism and enrolled in several art classes. By the 1930s, Alberto Giacometti was part of the Surrealist art movement and he got to be near artists like Joan Miró, André Masson, Man Ray and Max Ernst.

Alberto Giacometti and his sibling Diego fled Paris in June 1940, barely missing the attacking German army. Giacometti stayed in France, became friends with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir whos friendship would impact his figurative work. In 1946, Giacometti was able to return to Paris and his previous significant other, Annette Arm, went along with him, and the two were married in 1949. As Alberto Giacometti’s style kept on maturing, his bronze figures became larger and larger. His Woman of Venice II (1956) was almost four feet tall, and his Tall Woman II (1960) was nearly nine feet tall.

Alberto Giacometti was globally renowned by the 1960s, but unfortunately his health was not good. He was tormented by heart and circulatory issues but yet he pressed on with producing his artwork. On the night of January 11, 1966, the artist passed way from complications of pericarditis.