Diego et Alberto

Diego Giacometti and Alberto Giacometti in front of their studio

Born in the Swiss canton of Grisons, Alberto arrived in Paris barely at 18 and, with exception of the war years, he always lived and worked in Paris. Each year he spent a couple of weeks in Stampa visiting his father and above all his mother, of whom he would later make numerous portraits. His brother Diego, who would later play a very important role in Alberto’s work, joined him soon after. He was his assistant until his death. Diego was very important to Alberto, who often worked through the night. Alberto produced his sculptures in clay. As soon as he considered the sculpture finished, he would hand it over to his brother Diego who would create a plaster cast before the clay dried, from which he would produce a proof, always in plaster, which would then become the original of the sculpture. This original plaster would be used by the founder to produce the required number of pieces in cast iron, usually 6 or 8, and usually numbered out of 6 or out of 8. As soon as the pieces would come back from the founders, Diego would tarnish them, and it is also Diego who would ensure that Alberto always disposed of all the materials necessary to produce his sculptures. I do not think we would have had as many masterpieces by Alberto if he did not have the reassurance of knowing that Diego was at his slide the technician he could always count on. . Very early on Alberto understood that Diego could allow him to free himself of technical issues a sculptor can encounter. When Alberto considered that a sculpture was finished, he said to his brother: “Now it’s yours”. And Diego created the “original” plaster. They also applied the bronze patinas. Those that Diego did were incredible. He had a unique talent for giving them inimitable transparency, the particular vibration that means each example has its own particular feature. Adrien Maeght

Alberto Giacometti (1901 - 1966) - Diego Giacometti (1902-1985

The two brothers adored each other, they were inseparable. Although they had very different personalities, they were very close. They had the same Swiss Italian accent, the same way of interjecting their sentences with “eh, eh” as if to call the person they were talking to as a witness. Alberto would have succeeded in his career come what may, with his genius, talent and intelligence. He will remain one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. A painter, a sculptor, a drawer and an exceptional engraver. Adrien Maeght

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