Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) Portrait of Igor Stravinsky 16 7/8 x 12 3/4 in (43 x 32.5 cm) (Drawn in 1957)
Lot 19
Alberto Giacometti
(1901-1966)
Portrait of Igor Stravinsky 16 7/8 x 12 3/4 in (43 x 32.5 cm)
Sold for US$ 62,500 inc. premium

Impressionist and Modern Art

14 Nov 2017, 17:00 EST

New York

Lot Details
Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
Portrait of Igor Stravinsky
signed 'Alberto Giacometti' (lower right)
pencil on paper
16 7/8 x 12 3/4 in (43 x 32.5 cm)
Drawn in 1957

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Igor Stravinsky.
    Robert Lawson Craft (a gift from the above).
    The Park Avenue Gallery, New York.
    Acquired from the above in 1967, and thence by descent to the present owner.

    The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Giacometti. It is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti database under number AGD 3786.

    The relationship between Giacometti and Stravinsky was one of deep mutual respect between two towering artists, each a pioneer in his respective field. They were introduced in 1957 through a mutual acquaintance, a Russian musicologist named Pierre Souvtchinsky, while Stravinsky was in Paris to record his music for the ballet Agon. Their first meeting, over lunch at Stravinsky's hotel, was an instant success, and Giacometti was commissioned to make a portrait of the composer for the album sleeve of the recording. This resulted in a small series of portrait drawings including the present work which Giacometti presented to the composer.

    Giacometti's biographer James Lord noted that 'both men had good reason to respect one another, but they could not have foreseen how deep a pleasure would come from opportunities to show it. Indeed, it must be delightful for geniuses to feel a spontaneous affinity, because they alone can appreciate the extent of its solace in the isolation they share. ... The portraits are incisive, profound, penetrating images made by one great man of another, the outcome of a confrontation of peers' (J. Lord, 'Stravinsky and Giacometti' in Strawinsky. Sein Nachlass. Sein Bild., exhib. cat., Basel, Kunstmuseum, 1984, p. 377).

    The present drawing was presented by Stravinsky to the conductor Robert Craft, a close friend variously described as his 'amanuensis, rehearsal conductor, musical adviser, globe-trotting traveling companion and surrogate son' (M. Fox, 'Robert Craft, Stravinsky Adviser and Steward, Dies at 92', The New York Times, 14 November 2015). A reproduction of the portrait was used in the promotional material for the New York Philharmonic's 1966 concert series A Festival of Stravinsky, in which Craft was a guest conductor.
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