Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)

Buste d'Annette VI

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
Buste d'Annette VI
signed, numbered and inscribed 'Alberto Giacometti 6/6 VI' (on the left side); stamped with foundry mark 'SUSSE FONDEUR PARIS CIRE PERDUE' (on the right side)
bronze with brown patina
Height: 23 5/8 in. (59.5 cm.)
Conceived in 1962 and cast in 1964
Galerie Maeght, Paris (acquired from the artist).
Anon. sale, Guy Loudmer, Paris, 9 April 1989, lot 54B.
Private collection, Geneva.
Gasiunasen Gallery, Palm Beach.
Acquired from the above by Mrs. Sydell Miller, 14 June 1998.
J. Dupin, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1962, p. 295 (plaster version illustrated).
R. Hohl, Alberto Giacometti, Stuttgart, 1971, p. 309, no. 267 (another cast illustrated, p. 267).
B. Lamarche-Vadel, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1984, p. 155, no. 224 (another cast illustrated).
Y. Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti: A Biography of His Work, Paris, 1991, p. 513, no. 521 (another cast illustrated).
M. Brüderlin and T. Stooss, eds., Alberto Giacometti: The Origin of Space, Wolfsburg, 2010, p. 251 (another cast illustrated, p. 156).
The Alberto Giacometti Database, no. 3637.
Dallas, Museum of Fine Arts and Monterrey, Museum of Contemporary Art, Giacometti, September 1979-February 1980.
New York, Jan Krugier Gallery, Masters of Modern Sculpture, November-December 1989, no. 12.


Jessica Fertig
Jessica Fertig


The sitter’s gaze in this Buste dAnnette, the sixth in a series of ten heads that Giacometti modeled of his wife between 1962 and 1965, resembles that of the mesmerizing, otherworldly Byzantine icons the artist studied and drew in his sketchbooks. “Her eyes devoured the world,” Simone de Beauvoir remembered of first meeting Annette in 1946 (quoted in V. Wiesinger, The Women of Giacometti, exh. cat., PaceWildenstein, New York, 2005, p. 19).
These late studies of Annette are among the finest busts that Giacometti created after 1950, following his decision to dedicate his art to the representation of a few intimates, Annette and his brother Diego most frequently among them. From then on, Giacometti painted and drew Annette almost daily, yet while her features are recognizable in the small heads of the standing women, she was only once before 1960 the subject of a modeled head. The first of the late Annette busts is subtitled Venise, for its debut in the 1962 Biennale di Venezia, in which Giacometti was awarded the state prize for sculpture.
In subsequent versions Giacometti narrowed Annette’s shoulders and bust. “The neck itself, with sudden stateliness,” Yves Bonnefoy observed, “possesses that look of slender grace combined with strength which is so moving in real life” (op. cit., 1991, p. 510). Instead of the rough symmetry that Giacometti typically imposed on the frontal view of the busts, Annette VI displays a see-saw contrapposto between the bulge of hair and the nub of a shoulder on her right side, and the weightier mass of her truncated limb on the left. Her hair gathered up in a chignon, Annette’s fortyish face is still youthfully taut and slim. Giacometti appears to have rediscovered the young woman he had known nearly twenty years earlier, who in the interim had sacrificed everything to live with and serve a great artist.
Annette had endured in recent years the pain and humiliation of Giacometti’s infatuation with the young prostitute Caroline, who also modeled regularly for the artist. “Voicing her frustrations, she was the protest that forced him to ask himself questions about his way
of living, about the effects of those habits on her, about the way he had undoubtedly behaved badly towards her,” Bonnefoy explained. “And his guilty conscience, of course, provoked heated denials from him... he also felt distress, compassion and remorse. Hence the solicitude in these busts, this recognition granted, which above all is primarily a victory over himself” (ibid., p. 514).

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