Bust of Diego (Buste de Diego), 1954 Painted bronze, 15 1/2 x 13 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (39.4 x 33.7 x 21 cm.)
Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection, Dallas, Texas
Giacometti's brother Diego was one of his most frequent models, appearing in drawings, paintings, and sculpture alike from the earliest periods of the artist's work. A particularly prolific and searching series of portrait bust dates from the early fifties, as Giacometti worked diligently to capture the essence of Diego's character and appearance with a "realism" that he felt constantly eluded him. During this period he often painted his plasters and bronzes as a means of approaching more closely his fleeting perceptions. The three bronze portrait busts of Diego in the Nasher collection are extensively and beautifully painted in muted gray and gray-green tones.
The dates of Giacometti's many portrait busts of the fifties are generally not known with precision. The three in the Nasher collection ae most often ascribed to 1954, although Hohl dates the Diego in a Sweater to 1953 (Alberto Giacometti, New York, 1971, p. 257). All were cast in editions of seven bronzes numbered 0/6-6/6. This cast of the Bust of Diego was among the forty-two sculptures that Giacometti exhibited in his triumphant showing at the 1962 Venice Biennale's main pavilion, where he won the prize for sculpture.