Giacometti, Alberto

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Portrait of Alberto Giacometti (click to view image source)
Alberto Giacometti
(to view image author and license, click here)
Giacometti, Alberto Gender: M
born on 10 October 1901 at 01:00 (= 01:00 AM )
Place Borgonovo, Switzerland, 46n25, 9e38
Timezone MET h1e (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Steinbrecher
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 15°59' s_mo.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 17°30 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 13°32'


Italian-Swiss sculptor and painter, known for his unique interpretations of proportion and space. A giant of twentieth century art, he stands alongside Picasso and Matisse as an artist who defined the way the century is perceived and is one of the few modern artists who has created sculpture, paintings and drawings with equal mastery. He was the winner of the Venice Biennale's Grand Prize of Sculpture in 1962 and the Guggenheim International Award for painting in 1964.

The oldest son (Alberto, Deigo and Bruno) of post Impressionist painter Giovanni Giacometti and homemaker mother Annetta, Alberto was encouraged as a child to follow in his father's footsteps in art, despite the mediocre talent he demonstrated in his early years. Fortune smiled when his father was appointed to the Swiss delegation of the Venice Biennale and the adolescent Alberto accompanied him to Venice, where he discovered the world of Italian art from the Renaissance to the present. Remaining in Venice after his father returned to Switzerland, the art-intoxicated youth began his serious study and eventually traveled to Florence and Rome, where he drew and sculpted. After moving to Paris at age 20, he enrolled at the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere the following year where he studied with Antoine Bourdelle for three years. In 1927 he established a studio in Rue Hippolyte-Maindron where he worked until shortly before his death.

Joining the Surrealists in 1930, he entered a sustained period of great creativity, molding his sculptures as semi-primitive, schematic figures with protrusions to indicate gender. One hard-core surrealist work from this time entitled "Woman With Her Throat Cut" is considered a genuine masterpiece. His one-of-a-kind sculpture brought him fame; he hobnobbed with the thriving colony of artists and writers in Paris; yet familiarity among his peers bred contempt, resulting in his expulsion from the Surrealists in 1935. "The better things go the less closely tied to others you are." Following his departure from the Surrealists, Giacometti adamantly refused to involve himself in a movement of any kind.

Insisting that art demanded obsession, Giacometti primarily turned his attention to sculpture and beginning in 1936, sculpted works that progressively dwindled in size to the point that, prior to World War II, were the size of a pin-head.

At the outbreak of war, Giacometti fled to his native and neutral Switzerland, where he lived until 1945. Upon his return to Paris, he carried his latest works in six matchboxes. After the war, his minuscule sculptures began to expand in size until the likeness was elongated, emaciated and disturbing. The war left its mark. Harboring profound anxiety about the human condition, he viewed alienation and despair as a prerequisite for hope, recognizing that the beautiful and the absurd often intermingle in the modern world. He spent more time on painting and critics argued that Giacometti turned sculpture into a kind of painting. A woman standing, a man walking and the bust were the dominant themes in his work. In later years, his brother Diego, who cast Giacometti's pieces, became his favorite model.

In 1935 there were no takers for his work at prices of $150. Twenty years later, he was a huge success, with exhibitions of his work in America and Europe. Despite his wealth, Giacometti remained living in his studio, built in the 19th century, without modern plumbing. In 1938, he was hit by a car in Paris and, after months of recuperation in a hospital, retained a slight limp. He made one marriage, in 1949, to a Parisian woman named Annette who also frequently served as one of his models. Throughout his life he showed a marked devotion to his mother, spending extended vacations visiting her while drawing and sketching in his native village in Switzerland. He died pf heart disease and bronchitis on January 11, 1966 in Chur, Switzerland.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • Death by Disease 11 January 1966 at 12:00 noon in Chur, Switzerland (Age 64 of heart disease and bronchitis)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 1962 at 12:00 midnight in Venice, Italy (Venice Biennale's Grand Prize of Sculpture)
  • Work : Prize 1964 (Guggenheim International Award for Painting)
  • Work : Start Business 1927 at 12:00 midnight in Rue Hippolyte-Maindron, France (Established studio)
  • Social : Joined group 1930 (Joined the Surrealists)
  • Social : Left group 1935 (Expelled from Surrealists)
  • Health : Accident (Non-fatal) 1938 at 12:00 midnight in Paris, France (Hit by a car in Paris)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1949 (Parisian woman named Annette)

Source Notes

B.C. in hand from Steinbrecher

Biography: James Lord, "Some Remarkable Men, Further Memoirs," Farrar Straus & Giroux."


  • Vocation : Art : Fine art artist (Sculptor, painter)
  • Notable : Book Collection : Culture Collection
  • Notable : Famous : Top 5% of Profession (Stands alongside Picasso and Matisse)
  • Notable : Awards : Vocational award (Grand Prize of Sculpture, Guggenheim Painting Award)
  • Family : Childhood : Family noted (Father impressionist painter Giovanni Giacometti)
  • Traits : Mind : Education extensive (Studied at art academy for three years)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Many moves (Switzerland to Italy to Paris)
  • Family : Childhood : Family supportive (Encouraged him in artistic endeavours)
  • Vocation : Business : Business owner (Studio)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Financial success in field
  • Lifestyle : Work : Work alone/ Singular role
  • Lifestyle : Work : Skills - Multi-faceted (All forms of art)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Family : Childhood : Family close (Marked devotion to mother)
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Accident/Injury (Hit by a car in Paris, non-fatal)
  • Lifestyle : Home : Neighborhood (Lived in studio without plumbing)