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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Giovanni Giacometti


Theodora
1914
oil on canvas
124 x 200 cm
location unknown

Giovanni Giacometti (1868-1933) was a Swiss painter, and father of famous artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti. He was born in Stampa, Switzerland, and moved to Munich to attend the school of arts and crafts. There, he studied the works of the French impressionists. While in Germany, he met a fellow Swiss painter and, with whom he traveled to Paris. He went to the spring salon in Paris, where he was deeply impressed by some paintings. There, he met for the first time the works of Gianni Segantini, whom he got to know in person later on. Segantini became a veritable mentor and friend to Giacometti. His experience in France exposed him to Post-Impressionist artists, such as Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh, whose influence is clearly recognizable in his own paintings. In both landscapes and portraiture, he preferred bold, emotive color, and used a palette and style similar to his Post-Impressionist contemporaries.

Running short of money, he was forced to return to Stampa in 1891. That was a period of loneliness and lack of inspiration. After some monetary success in the early 1890s, he garnered more attention in 1912, when he was invited to exhibit his work with the German Expressionist group known as Die Brucke. The last years, he spent in the quiet of Stampa. He was regarded as mediator of modern French and Italian art assets. Despite not having reached the level of renown as his sons Alberto and Diego, he is considered a significant contributor to the revival of 20th century Swiss art and painting.