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Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti

The Giacometti Foundation opens its exceptional heritage to the public.
For 40 years, Alberto Giacometti sculpted busts and silhouettes in his workshop in Montparnasse, Paris – and with the opening of the Giacometti Institute, it’s now found a new lease of life. Be one of the first to explore the place where this great 20th-century sculptor’s creative inspiration took physical form. Here’s the lowdown on this exciting addition to Paris’ art scene.
Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti
A workshop within a workshop

The original workshop disappeared in 1972, and needed a new building to recreate the genius of the place. The Giacometti Foundation chose a listed Art-Deco mansion in Montparnasse, also a former artist’s studio belonging to Paul Follot.

Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti

Adorned with beautiful mosaics on the ground floor, the mansion – built between 1912 and 1914 at 5, Rue Victor Schoelcher – was designed by Paul Follot in collaboration with architect Pierre Selmersheim. From 1913 to 1916, Pablo Picasso had his studio next door at number 5, while writer Simone de Beauvoir lived at number 11 from 1955 until her death in 1986.

Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti

The end result is superb: after refurbishment by the Giacometti Foundation, the studio has been presented with spectacular staging conceived by the architects. The ultra-transparent glass and tiers fulfil a dual purpose: to protect, but also to ensure the closest possible inspection of the works.

Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti

A compulsive draftsman, Giacometti scribbled on all media, including the walls. Saved from destruction and meticulously restored, these are exposed to the light of day, bearing witness his inexhaustible creative process. His notebooks are displayed in the graphic art cabinet, containing an exceptional collection of nearly 5,000 drawings and lithographs.

Unpublished works

Within the varied collection of furniture and objects – Giacometti’s widow had kept everything – over 70 bronze and plaster sculptures punctuate the space, of which 40 have been specially restored. Many works have never before been shown to the public due to their fragility.

Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti
Unpublished works

Within the varied collection of furniture and objects – Giacometti’s widow had kept everything – over 70 bronze and plaster sculptures punctuate the space, of which 40 have been specially restored. Many works have never before been shown to the public due to their fragility.

Customised display

The renovation of the ground floor and mezzanine spaces paid constant attention to the original décor, embodying the transition between Art Nouveau and Art Deco. The goal was to emphasise the changing styles through time, together with the addition of contemporary elements.

Dive into the intimate world of Giacometti

The sculpture of the seated man (known as “Lotar III”) is one of the last sculptures produced by the artist, and a symbol of his tireless work on the subject. And from the atmosphere of this mirrored den, it’s clear to see it was a place of creation and life. “All of his character had the grey colour of his studio”, said writer Jean Genet, who was familiar with these places and whose ties of friendship with Giacometti are the subject of this first temporary exhibition.

Surprise, surprise

With varying levels and ceiling heights, and a maze of small rooms, architect Pascal Grasso has conceived a scenographic journey “punctuated by surprises and events”. The works flourish here in complete privacy. Excitingly, the group of Femmes de Venise (‘Women of Venice’) are on public display in France for the first time ever.