Alberto Giacometti

 

 


L’Arlequin                                                                                           $75,000

Pencil on paper
Late 1930s
13 x10in (33x25.5cm)
signed lower left
Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from par the Comité Giacometti/Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, March 2016, AGD #3565

PROVENANCE

Isabel Rawsthorne, Paris (acquired from the artist c. 1940)
Private Collection, 1981
Sotheby’s London: June 28th, 1995, Impressionist and Modern Paintings Part II, Lot 218 Private Collection, NY

LITERATURE:

Labyrinthe, no. 10, 19th July 1945, p. 2, illustrated
Alberto Giacometti: la collection du Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne : Saint-Etienne, Musée d’art moderne, 24 mars-27 juin 1999

NOTES:

Alberto Giacometti – Homage to Derain:

Translated from Alberto Giacometti: la collection du Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne : Saint-Etienne, Musée d’art moderne, 24 mars-27 juin 1999

Since “that very moment in 1936 when I saw a Derain painting in a gallery (...) that stopped me, struck me in a very new way (...) since then all Derain paintings without exception struck me (...)” Giacometti is, as Balthus is, a big admirer of Derain’s work: “he is the painter who interests me the most, who had taught me the most since Cézanne, he is for me the most audacious of all.” Maybe it is due to that encounter reminding him of Cézanne’s work, that Giacometti goes back to painting, painting of still lives (La pomme sur le buffet 1937). As he has always been doing with ancient art, he “copies” Derain – as shown by this drawing after L’Arlequin à la mandoline.

Alberto Giacometti – Hommage à Derain:

In Alberto Giacometti: la collection du Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne : Saint-Etienne, Musée d’art moderne, 24 mars-27 juin 1999

Giacometti est — comme il l’évoque en 1955, depuis " [...] l’instant de ce jour en 1936, où une toile de Derain vue par hasard dans une galerie [...] m’a arrêté, m’a frappé d’une manière totalement nouvelle [...], depuis ce moment toutes les toiles de Derain sans exception m’ont arrêté [...]1" — un admirateur comme tant d’autres avec lui (notamment Balthus) de ce peintre : " [Il] est le peintre qui me passionne le plus, qui m’a le plus apporté et le plus appris depuis Cézanne, il est pour moi le plus audacieux2. " Peut-être est-ce en résonance avec cette rencontre qui le renvoie encore à Cézanne qu’il se remet lui-même en 1936 à la peinture, à la peinture de nature morte : ce sera La Pomme sur le buffet, 1937 (coll. part., New York). Comme il le fait depuis toujours avec l’art ancien, il se met à " copier " Derain :

en témoigne ce dessin au crayon d’après L’Arlequin à la mandoline.

Biography

Alberto Giacometti was born in 1901 in the small mountain town of Borgonovo, Switzerland. His father, Giovanni Giacometti was a Post-Impressionist painter who contributed to some of the young artist’s first exposures to the art world. After graduating from the Ecole des Arts Industriels in Geneva, Giacometti was welcomed into the Surrealist movement of the 1930s. During this period in his career, before the Second World War, Giacometti typically developed surreal sculptural forms that were often reminiscent of toys and games. After the war, his philosophy turned Existentialist and his work began to mimic that thinking; it attempted to wrestle with the key ideas of the movement—perception and alienation. His figurative depictions were often aimed towards becoming a symbol of post-war trauma through the imagery of a suffering human being.