Spiral Pad, c. 1935/36

The drawings in this sketchpad are valuable evidence of Giacometti’s first phase of return to figuration in 1935. The three profile portraits of his recently married sister Ottilia (GS 233.01–03) exhibit a non-specifically realistic method of representation that Giacometti often used in portraits.

A second starting point of the quest for a new style comes in the form of the copies from Egyptian sculptures in the Louvre (GS 233.05: ‘Seated Scribe’ and GS 233.06: ‘Pharaoh Amenemhet III, 12th dynasty’ (bottom right); ‘Seated statue of Pharaoh Chephren, 4th dynasty, Cairo’ (bottom left); ‘Fragment of a head of the same Pharaoh, 5th dynasty). The head studies, possibly of Rita, show his efforts to reconcile Cubist formal analysis with the new paradigm (GS 233.05 verso-07).

27 x 21 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Donated by Bruno and Odette Giacometti, 2000
Object number
GS 233.01-11
not inscribed
Further information
11 sheets
  • ab 2000, Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft | Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum), Zürich, Leihgabe
  • ab 2000, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung (Sammlung), Zürich, Geschenk
  • Bruno und Odette Giacometti (Sammler/in), Nachlass
  • Alberto Giacometti (*1901 Borgonovo bei Stampa, +1966 Chur) (Künstler/in)