Self-Portrait, 1921

This key work of Alberto’s early, highly coloured painting in which he engages with his father’s art shows him in the latter’s studio in Stampa; the printing press can be made out in the background. The stylization of the head and the posture draw on Egyptian and Ancient Greek art.

This self-portrait at the age of twenty signals both the culmination and end-point of Giacometti’s early painting. The opulent, densely interwoven colour values take their cue from Giovanni Giacometti’s pictures of the period around 1910–1912; but the tense posture speaks to a very different artistic temperament that brings to mind the similarly stringent early self-portrayal of Ferdinand Hodler.

Oil on canvas
82.5 x 70.0 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, 1965
Object number
GS 062
Inscribed bottom, right: Alberto Giacometti / 1921
Further information
  • Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft | Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum), frühestens ab 1965, Leihgabe
  • Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung (Sammlung), Zürich, frühestens ab 1965, Übernahme
  • Alberto Giacometti-Syndikat, Zürich, 1963, Kauf
  • Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1965, Kauf
  • Sammlung G. David Thompson, Pittsburgh
  • Alberto Giacometti