Lot 4
  • 4

Alberto Giacometti

600,000 - 800,000 USD
962,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Alberto Giacometti
  • Projet d'un Monument pour un personnage célèbre
  • Inscribed with the signature Giacometti, inscribed with the foundry mark Susse Fondeur and numbered 2/6
  • Bronze


World House Galleries, New York

Arthur J. Kobacker, New York (acquired from the above and sold: Parke-Bernet, New York, October 29, 1970, lot 39)

Richmond Lisle-Cannon (acquired at the above sale)

Milton D. Ratner Family Collection, Chicago (by at least 1974 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 16, 1984, lot 322)

Thomas Gibson Fine Art, Ltd., London (acquired at the above sale)

Acquired from the above in June 1984


New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Alberto Giacometti, A Retrospective Exhibition, 1974, no. 82, illustrated in the catalogue

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago; River Forest, Illinois, Rosary College; Omaha, Joslyn Art Museum; Indianapolis, Indianapolis Museum of Art; Madison, University of Wisconsin, Elvehjem Art Center; Jerusalem, Israel Museum, Alberto Giacometti: The Milton D. Ratner Family Collection, traveling exhibition, 1974-75, no. 45, illustrated in the catalogue

Purchase, State University of New York, Neuberger Museum; Wichita, Wichita State University, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art; Sarasota, John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art; Austin, University of Texas; Denver, Denver Art Museum; Seattle, Seattle Art Museum; Columbus, Ohio, Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Art Center; Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville Art Museum; Newark, New Jersey, Newark Museum [an exhibition organized by the American Federation of Arts], Alberto Giacometti: Sculptor and Draftsman, 1977-79, no. 6, illustrated in the catalogue


Reinhold Hohl, Alberto Giacometti, New York, 1971, no. 75, illustration of the plaster model and another bronze cast p. 296

Catalogue Note

Giacometti planned Projet d'un monument pour un personnage célèbre as a tribute to Gabriel Péri, a French journalist and politician who was executed by the Nazis in December 1941.  Péri became a hero of the Communist Resistance and was memorialized in a poem by Louis Aragon entitled "La Légende de Gabriel Péri."  Giacometti's friend, the American architect Paul Nelson, initiated the idea for this project around 1946.  Although the monument never materialized in full scale, this bronze version was conceived in 1956 and cast in 1961, during the artist's lifetime.
This sculpture is possibly Giacometti's first foray into the series of walking men for which he is best known.  Works such as the iconic L'Homme qui marche I of 1960/61 (fig. 1) were developed out of the striding figure of Projet d'un Monument.  The anonymity of the figure reflects the loneliness and isolation that Giacometti felt beleaguered society following the Second World War.  Even on this small scale, intricate modeling enlivens the sculpture with the interplay of light and shadow and the contrast between the textured surface of the figure and the smooth stele and base.

Both the present sculpture and L'Homme qui marche I were once owned by Dr. Milton D. Ratner, whose collection was featured in a exhibition organized by The Art Institute of Chicago in 1974-75 and hailed in that catalogue as "the finest and most comprehensive Giacometti collection in America" (Alberto Giacometti: The Milton D. Ratner Family Collection, Chicago, 1974, p. 7). 

According to the Fondation Giacometti, the pedestal of the present work was created by Paul Nelson.