Diego and Alberto Giacometti – Brothers of design

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Diego Giacometti was a was a Swiss sculptor and designer and the younger brother of the sculptor Alberto Giacometti. 

The working relationship between brothers Diego and Alberto wasn’t always smooth, though it’s said that Alberto supported Diego in Paris and encouraged him to train as a castor. Even with a relationship described as complicated you can see how close the brothers were as it can be difficult to distinguish the work of Diego from Alberto.

Image via The Spaces

The Giacometti brothers shared the same sculpture studio at 46 rue Hippolyte-Maindron is Paris, it wasn’t until 1935 that Diego took a holiday in Stampa, where he was separated from his brother Alberto that he began sculpting animals. 

Image and header via Fondation Marguerite et Aime Maeght

Whilst working in Alberto’s studio Diego made stands for his brothers sculptures which were admired by patrons, shortly after, Diego invested time learning all he could about sculpting furniture and the complications and detail involved, later becoming a master. 

Diego was a talented sculpture in his own right and became celebrated for his bronze furniture, the objects he created are to this day highly sort after, fetching hundreds of thousands at auction. Diego’s maquette’s were modelled in plaster which was unique, more common choices for metal furniture were clay or wax, plaster was a departure from norm.  

Born a year apart Alberto and Diego were the sons of impressionist Swiss painter Giovanni Giacometti in the 1880’s, Giovanni remained an influential figure to his sons and the affection between Giovanni and Alberto can be seen in the sculpture Tête de Père, Ronde made by Alberto 30 years after his father’s death.

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