Rembrandtʼs ʻThe Polish Riderʼ as Monument, c. 1917/1918
Rembrandts «Polnischer Reiter» als Monument

Giacometti began drawing interpretative copies of reproductions as a boy, steeping himself in an exceptionally broad pictorial tradition; it was a practice that he subsequently continued in museums and pursued until late in his life. It no doubt gave him important artistic insights but also much of his confidence in the handling of form.

In a remarkable foreshadowing of what was to come – like the future sculptor for whom the problem of the base will be so important – Giacometti here elevated the painterly image of the ‘Polish Rider’ (attributed at the time to Rembrandt) to the status of a memorial sculpture by placing it on an imposing substructure.

Pen and purple ink on paper
33.5 x 25.2 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, 1981
Object number
GS 148
not inscribed