Alberto Giacometti

Swiss sculptor and painter (1901-1966)

Alberto Giacometti (Italian pronunciation: [alˈbɛrto dʒakoˈmetti]; 10 October 1901 – 11 January 1966) was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman and printmaker. His parents were Giovanni and Annetta and his family grew up with art. His father was a Post-Impressionist painter.

Alberto Giacometti
Alberto-Giacometti,-etching-(author-Jan-Hladík-2002).jpg
Portrait of Alberto-Giacometti (etching by Jan Hladík, 2002)
Born(1901-10-10)10 October 1901
Borgonovo, Stampa, Graubünden, Switzerland
Died11 January 1966(1966-01-11) (aged 64)
Chur, Graubünden, Switzerland
NationalitySwiss
EducationThe School of Fine Arts, Geneva
Known forSculpture, Painting, Drawing
MovementSurrealism, Expressionism, Cubism, Formalism
Spouse(s)Annette Arm
Awards"Grand Prize for Sculpture" at 1962 Venice Biennale

When he was ten, he began drawing with pencil and crayon and sending his drawings to his godfather, Amiet. Then he started to use oils and he painted his first photo of a face at the age of 12. He used his siblings as models.

In 1915, he went to the Evangelical School in the town of Schiers. He left school in 1919. He continued to develop his art skills in Geneva where he enrolled at the École des Arts Industriels. He travelled to Venice, Padua, Florence and Rome. Here, he was influenced by the collections of Egyptian art he studied. African and Oceanic art also inspired him. He also focused on the surrealism of art. Example of this are Suspended Ball and The Palace at 4 a.m.

From 1922, he lived and worked mainly in Paris. He regularly visited his hometown Borgonovo to see his family and to work on his art.

In 1940, Giacometti and his brother, Diego, went to the south of France to escape Nazi invasion. He returned to Paris in 1941. He died on 11 January 1966.

Giacometti was one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. His work was particularly influenced by artistic styles such as Cubism and Surrealism.