Sheets from a Sketchbook (Florence, November 1920 – Rome, 1921), 1920/1921
Blätter aus einem Skizzenblock

In May 1920 Giacometti attended the Venice Biennale with his father and discovered the works of Tintoretto and Giotto. In autumn that year he travelled to Rome, staying with relatives there until summer 1921 and picking up new ideas in the process.

While in Italy, Alberto purchased a large-format sketchbook and began copying Egyptian reliefs and sculptures, including a portrait bust – and, as Giacometti put it, ‘the first sculpture of a head that seemed to me to be alive’. He made further copies from frescoes, figures from Andrea da Firenze’s allegorical depiction of the theology of Thomas Aquinas in the Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella, and the famous canephorae from Raphael’s ‘Fire in the Borgo’. He composed scenes from Antiquity, such as the ‘Sacrifice of Iphigenia’ and ‘Orestes from Iphigenia in Tauris’, though with less than convincing results.

Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Donated by Bruno and Odette Giacometti, 2000
Object number
GS 228.01-13
not inscribed
Further information
13 sheets; first bundle loose
  • Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft | Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum), ab 2000, Leihgabe
  • Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung (Sammlung), 2000, Geschenk
  • Bruno und Odette Giacometti, bis 2000, Geschenk
  • Alberto Giacometti