18 november 2021

Alberto Giacometti #24

Giacometti's atelier in Stampa, 2016. Stills from the video.

Atelier of Alberto and Giovanni Giacometti in Stampa, 2018. (foto's: Miguel Sides)

Alberto Giacometti modelling a bust in the Atelier in Stampa, 1965. (foto: Ernst Scheidegger)

When Giovanni Giacometti rented the house in Stampa with his family in the autumn of 1905, he also rented the adjoining stable and barn, built in 1795. In letters to his friend, the artist Cuno Amiet, he related his plans to turn the stable into a magnificent atelier. However, he soon gave up his collaboration with an architect and said: “I will leave the barn as it is, cut out a window and clad it inside with a double wooden wall. It will be a beautiful place, full of sun, and the whole thing will cost me a thousand francs. I’ll have to make a slanting skylight.”

“The stable’s interior measures ca. 8 x 10 meters. I would have liked to distinguish a second room—smaller, more cozy, and furnished with wood panelling—from which I could have caught the beautiful evening light. The atelier would have had a skylight and a window facing north. Height of the atelier ca. 4 meters.” (…) “Now it seems the flat roof costs an enormous amount of money, and the architect advises me not to do it. The skylight, too, is more expensive than expected. To get away cheaper, the architects suggests using only half of the existing space and that with no skylights. I frown upon the idea of sacrificing my small chamber in the atelier that I imagined to be so convenient. If I had an intelligent worker at hand, I believe, I could make something better than with the architect’s help and much cheaper.”

At the end of October 1906, Giovanni Giacometti was able to move into his studio and afterwards wrote to Amiet: “although it is not a studio à la Makart or à la Lembach, it took time to paint the doors, to set up the benches, the shelves, and so on. The only thing still missing is a cupboard in a corner, and then it will be provisionally complete. However, it is a great joy to work there. I have space, light and heat. The stove is excellent. Inside it is cosy. I have left all the beams a natural colour; a warm pinkish lemon yellow, very pleasant. Since I moved in, I cannot bear to leave it.”

During his stays in Bregaglia, Alberto Giacometti always worked in the two studios his father had set up in Stampa and Maloja, which differed considerably in their spatial conditions and ambience from the one in Paris. The workspaces in Bregaglia were about twice as large as the Paris studio at 46 rue Hippolyte-Maindron, always tidy, bright and comfortable, equipped with tables and chairs designed by Milanese furniture designer Carlo Bugatti.

In 1986, Bruno and Odette Giacometti, with Silvio Berthoud, donated the atelier in Stampa with some furnishings to the Società Culturale di Bregaglia, owner of the Ciäsa Granda Museum in Stampa. With the opening of the exhibition Alberto Giacometti. A Casa, the atelier was opened to the public for the first time. For the occasion, the partition set up in August 1962 to create a small bedroom for Annette was removed, thereby restoring the atelier to its original state."
(bron: TR-ANSFER)

> Fondation Giacometti

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