Sketchbook, c. 1913/1915

Giacometti’s earliest drawings can be found in a large sketchpad that he owned when he was twelve; he practised his monogram and the figures of the year 1913 on the last page.

He studied his father Giovanni’s works in the latter’s studio. The family appears in various constellations: Giovanni sketched the boys sitting by the river bank or wrestling together, in preparatory works for large compositions; Alberto copied his father’s paintings as well as earlier works, such as one of the Madonna-like images depicting Annetta with the new-born Ottilia in her arms between the heads of Alberto and Diego.

Here, then, Alberto is sketching himself as his father had seen him ten years earlier. Large portrait drawings of his mother in profile and especially his father, showing him at work rather than posed, already exhibit a remarkable professionalism.

Pencil, additional: red pen: 44; brown pencil: 43, 49: 62 on semi-transparent paper
32.5 x 27.5 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Donated by Bruno and Odette Giacometti, 2000
Object number
GS 216
Further information
62 sheets; belongs with GS 239
  • Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft | Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum), ab 2000, Leihgabe
  • Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung (Sammlung), 2000, Geschenk
  • Bruno und Odette Giacometti, bis 2008
  • Alberto Giacometti