Fondation Giacometti -  Portrait of Diego
AGD 882

Portrait of Diego

Date circa 1918

Medium Oil on canvas

Dimensions 12,51 x 11,06 in.

Collection Fondation Giacometti, Paris


Diego, Alberto Giacometti’s brother, was one of the artist’s main models throughout his life. This is one of his first portraits, in which one still notices his father’s influence, in particular the post-impressionist pink and green touches for the face’s carnation. Under the painting, one can see a blue preparatory drawing made with a brush that traces as much the lines of the portrait as the greenery at the back. On that “structure”, the touches of paint are light and quick, in a style that is very close to other portraits of Alberto dating from around 1917-1918. The connection with the aspect, the hairstyle and the clothes of another portrait of Diego painted by their father Giovanni in 1918 confirms this dating. Besides, there is a drawing by Alberto from the same period, very similar, that would seem to have been made at the same time. This painting is thus one of the very first paintings on canvas by the artist, who, until that time, used to paint mostly on cardboard and paper. It is a rather rough canvas compared to the fine weave canvases that Giacometti was to use later. This painting was exhibited in the artist’s lifetime in the retrospective in London and Humlebaek (Denmark) in 1965.


No inscription


Succession Alberto et Annette Giacometti
Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti

Exhibition history

1956 Alberto Giacometti, Berne (Switzerland), Kunsthalle Bern, from June 16th to July 22nd 1956, no. 47
1965 Alberto Giacometti. Sculpture Paintings Drawings 1913 1965, London (United Kingdom), Tate Gallery, from July 17th to August 30th 1965, no. 96
1965 Alberto Giacometti, Humlebæk (Denmark), Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, from September 18th to October 24th 1965, no. 91
1969 Alberto Giacometti, Paris (France), Orangerie des Tuileries, from October 15th 1969 to January 12th 1970, no. 126
2015 Alberto Giacometti, Istanbul, Tepebasi-Beyoglu-Istanbul, PERA MUSEUM, from February 10th to April 26th 2015
2017 Alberto Giacometti after the models., Séoul (South Korea), Seoul Arts Center, from December 21st 2017 to April 15th 2018
2019 Alberto Giacometti, D'après le modèle (Prague)., Prague (Czech Republic), Veletržní palác, from July 18th to December 1st 2019


Alberto GIACOMETTI, in Louisiana Revy, Humlebæk : Editions Louisiana, no. 1, september 1965, cat. no. 91, p. 4ème couverture
Franz MEYER, Alberto Giacometti, Kunsthalle Bern, Berne : F. Gygi & Co. Malerei Gipserei, 1956, cat. no. 47
David SYLVESTER, Alberto Giacometti. Sculpture. Paintings. Drawings 1913 1965, London : Arts Council of Great Britain, 1965, cat. no. 96
Jean LEYMARIE (under the direction of), Alberto Giacometti, Paris : Ministère d'Etat des Affaires culturelles. RMN, 1969, cat. no. 126, p. 154

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database