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 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, 1965
Object number
GS 062
inscr. b. r.: Alberto Giacometti / 1921
  • ab 1965, Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft | Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum), Zürich, Leihgabe
  • ab 1965, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung (Sammlung), Zürich, Übereignung
  • 1963, Alberto Giacometti-Syndikat, Zürich, Kauf
  • 1963, Galerie Beyeler (Galerie), Basel, Kauf
  • G. David Thompson (*1899 Newark, OH, +1965 Pittsburgh, PA) (Sammler/-in)
  • Alberto Giacometti (*1901 Borgonovo bei Stampa, +1966 Chur) (Künstler/-in)