Alberto Giacometti (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Giacometti was not only one of the most important sculptors of the twentieth century but also a distinguished painter and draftsman. His attenuated, gaunt sculptured figures, as well as his paintings and drawings of persons with eyes transfixed in a disturbing stare, have become icons of modern art.
Alberto Giacometti was born on October 10, 1901, in the mountain village of Borgonovo, near Stampa, in an Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland. His father, Giovanni, and godfather, Cuno Amiet, were both painters who had assimilated Postimpressionist and Fauvist styles. Alberto was the eldest of four siblings of whom his younger brother by one year, Diego, was to remain his closest friend, sharing his life and work from 1925 on. When young Alberto turned to drawing at about the age of ten, he was welcome in his father’s studio.
His skills in drawing began to flourish when he enrolled in 1915 at a Protestant secondary school in Schiers. In his three years there, he proved a brilliant student, excelling not only in the fine arts but also in literature, history, and the physical sciences. In 1919, Alberto attended Geneva’s École des Arts et Métiers (school of arts and crafts) but disliked its instruction. After a year, he left this institute and spent the next year in Italy, beginning a lifelong fascination with Tintoretto’s and Giotto’s paintings. For the rest of his career,...
(The entire section is 2201 words.)
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