Alberto Giacometti

Bust of a Man (known as Chiavenna I)


Not on display

Alberto Giacometti 1901–1966
Original title
Buste d'homme (dit Chiavenna I)
Object: 410 × 197 × 152 mm, 5.2 kg
Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1965

Display caption

This portrait of Giacometti's brother Diego was made from memory. Like many of the portrait busts from the last few years of Giacometti's life, it shows a heightened interest in the eyes of the subject, creating a gaze that is penetratingly intense. 'If I can hold the look in the eyes, everything else follows', Giacometti explained. Chiavenna was the small Italian town in which the sculptures were cast.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Alberto Giacometti 1901-1966

T00779 Buste de Chiavenna I (Chiavenna Head I) 1964

Inscribed 'Alberto Giacometti' on top of base r., '2/6' on side of base r., and 'Susse. Fondeur. Paris' on back of base
Bronze, 16 1/8 x 7 3/4 x 6 (41 x 19.5 x 15)
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid) with the aid of the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1965
Exh: Alberto Giacometti: Sculpture Paintings Drawings 1913-65, Tate Gallery, July-August 1965 (92) as 'Chiavenna Head I'; Giacometti- Udstillingen, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, September-October 1965 (87); Alberto Giacometti, Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, October 1969-January 1970 (116) as 'Buste de Chiavenna'
Lit: Reinhold Hohl, Alberto Giacometti: Sculpture Painting Drawing (London 1972), pp.104, 185, plaster repr. p.266 as 'Diego (Chiavenna-Head I)'

Giacometti made two busts in 1964 and 1965 known as 'Chiavenna Head I' and 'Chiavenna Head II'. They were exhibited for the first time at the Tate Gallery in July-August 1965, this bust being shown in bronze and the other in plaster. Both were heads of Diego Giacometti made from memory in the artist's studio at Stampa in Switzerland, and they were given this title because they were cast in plaster in the small Italian town of Chiavenna which lies just across the border. (Information from Diego Giacometti through Francis Tailleux, April 1977).

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.283-4, reproduced p.283


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