Art & History

watch Alberto Giacometti paint! 1965

“[I rediscovered] the wish to make compositions with figures. For this I had to make (quickly I thought; in passing), one or two studies from nature, just enough to understand the construction of a head, of a whole figure, and in 1935 I took a model. This study should take, I thought, two weeks and then I could realize my compositions…I worked with the model all day from 1935 to 1940…Nothing was as I imagined. A head, became for me an object completely unknown and without dimensions.”

The Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti is most famous for his thin, elongated sculptures of the human form. But in the clip above from the 1966 film Alberto Giacometti by the Swiss photographer Ernst Scheidegger, Giacometti is shown working in another medium as he paints the foundational lines of a portrait at his studio in Paris. The footage was apparently shot in 1965, when Giacometti was about 64 years old and had less than a year to live.

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