Giacometti completed these paintings shortly before the 1965 exhibition of his work at the Tate Gallery, which Sylvester curated. They were completed at night and by artificial light. Sylvester wrote of the sense of space in such works. ''It was as if he was looking at the face from very near, so that all sense of the head as a sphere out there in space was lost and he was left with the prominent features ... The poetic mood of the studio''s space is replaced by a forthright confrontation with a presence that dominates the space in front of the canvas.''