11. Landscapes

Fondation Giacometti -  11. Landscapes

Alberto Giacometti, Man, Tree and Mountain, 1958, Oil on canvas, 60 x 80 cm, coll.Fondation Giacometti, Paris.
© Succession Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris et ADAGP, Paris)

Giacometti creates a system of equivalences between the human figure and nature: the busts are mountains, the standing figures are trees, the heads are stones. In the sunlight, the mountain vibrates with a throb which resembles breathing. Like the tree, the human being is caught in a process of growth and death which can never be halted.

This theme adorns the door which Giacometti finished making in 1956 for the vault of the Kaufmann family in Pennsylvania (United States). In 1958, gripped by a nighttime vision, he hurriedly painted a picture which brought together that trilogy: man, tree and mountain. For Giacometti, however, it was above all the most ordinary which contained the unknown and the wonderful. He observed that the landscape he painted from his studio window in Stampa was forever changing, and that he could “spend every day looking at the same garden, the same trees, and the same backdrop”, or, in Paris, remain in front of the small house, on the other side of the street, which he painted from his door. He was amazed by “all the beautiful landscapes to be painted without changing places, the most ordinary, anonymous, banal and beautiful landscape you could ever see.”

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database