Christie’s has announced a Giacometti portrait of his brother Diego as the top lot in their Impressionist and Modern Evening sale with an attention grabbing $30-50m estimate:
Alberto Giacometti’s (1901-1966) Diego en chemise écossaise, estimated at $30—50 million, will lead Christie’s November 5 Evening Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York.
The present work is one of the most fully realized of all Giacometti’s portraits. The surface of the painting is rich in texture showing how he compulsively worked and re-worked his material. While Giacometti’s paintings most often utilize a grisaille palette, Diego en chemise écossaise is distinctive for its use of color, with the red of Diego’s tartan shirt, which raises this portrait to a level of complexity rarely seen in the artist’s oeuvre. The pattern of the interwoven plaid also allows Giacometti to enrich the painting with a new level of complexly charged brushwork. The portrait also employs some of Giacometti’s familiar devices; the sitter is presented with the barest of anecdotal surroundings, and he has painted a linear frame around the subject, which separates the illusion of pictorial space from the reality of the canvas’ flatness.