The existentialist universe of Alberto Giacometti was started with his Trinity in 1947. The artist will then have to complete this staging. L'Homme au doigt is not continued, leaving face to face L'Homme qui marche and La Femme debout. The meaning of isolated organs like La Main or Le Nez is rather hermetic. Alberto prepares assemblies like La Forêt, La Clairière or La Place. The busts of Diego are in the position of an idol.
The human being does not have the monopoly of existence. In 1951 the artist decides to add the animals. This theme does not excite him : he will not make Noah's ark and will start with some familiar specimens, the cat, the dog and a group of two horses. It is said that he made the three plasters in the same day.
The horses are too big to stay in the workshop. The rain returns them to the clay. He will not try again. The dog is ugly, altogether filiform and skeletal. His head bent to sniff, he has no dynamism and no presence. Alberto will later say to Genet that he wanted to identify himself with this sad street dog. We believe him or not.
The cat has a better personality. It is built on a horizontal 81 cm from head to tail mounted on its two pairs of high legs in the position of walking. The heavy head in line with the wiry body expresses the desire to move forward.
Bronzes of cat and dog have been edited. Le Chien has never been highlighted at auction. A Le Chat cast by Susse in 1955 and coming from the Brody collection was sold for $ 21M including premium by Christie's on May 4, 2010. It will be sold by Sotheby's in London on June 19, lot 13. In the same 2010 sale the Grande Tête Mince was sold for $ 53M including premium.
This experiment of animal figures is the only one attempted by Alberto. He will leave complacently to Diego this theme that indeed did not appeal him.
Please watch the video shared by Sotheby's.
SOLD for £ 12.6M including premium