Alberto Giacometti
Jean Genet 1954 or 1955

Artwork details

Alberto Giacometti 1901–1966
Jean Genet
Date 1954 or 1955
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 653 x 543 mm
frame: 790 x 686 x 55 mm
Acquisition Accepted by HM Government in lieu of tax and allocated to the Tate Gallery 1987
Not on display

Display caption

Genet was among the leading French writers of the twentieth century. Seeing himself as an outsider, he celebrated his homosexuality and criminal past in his work. He also wrote a short book on Giacometti. Like many of Giacometti’s portraits, this work uses a reduced palette of colours, and gradually builds its likeness of Genet with a series of small tentative brushstrokes. This technique creates a tense, shifting outline around the figure, which parallels the rough, highly-worked surfaces of Giacometti’s sculptures.

November 2005