January 1999
Alberto Giacometti, BUSTE DE DIEGO (BUST OF DIEGO) circa 1954

  Alberto Giacometti
Swiss, born 1901
Buste de Diego (Bust of Diego)  circa 1954

Collection Walker Art Center
Gift of the T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 1957

From the age of 14, Alberto Giacometti (pronounced "jocko-metty") made many portrait busts using his younger brother, Diego, as a model. A bust is a sculpture of a person's head and shoulders. In Bust de Diego, the artist portrays more than the realistic features of his brother, who was his assistant, critic, and friend, in order to show Diego's true character. He shaped clay to make the figure appear narrow, lean, and tall from the front with a more lifelike profile from the side. Later the form was cast in bronze. Giacometti was well known for his style that combines a rough, bumpy surface with stretched-out figures that stand alone.

© 1999 Walker Art Center

The Artwork of the Month is part of the Walker Art Center's "New Definitions/New Audiences" initiative. This museum-wide project to engage visitors in a reexamination of 20th-century art is made possible by the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund.