The Comité Giacometti has confirmed the authenticity of this work. It will be included in the catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Fondation Alberto and Annette Giacometti.
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by the Association Alberto and Annette Giacometti and Mary Lisa Palmer.
Christian Klemm has written,
To this group of works conceived in 1947 [The Hand, Head on a Rod and The Nose] a fourth sculpture, The Leg, not realized until 1958, may be added. On October 18, 1938, as Giacometti was returning home late one night, he was hit by a car in the Place des Pyramides. His foot was broken, and he used a walking stick for many years afterward. He constructed a story of this misadventure, which he often recounted and which was so important to him that he fell out with Sartre when the philosopher misreported events twenty-five years later in Les mots. The Leg most likely had sources in this accident of 1938 as well as in Giacometti's obsessive interest in feet. This piece touches on Bataille's notions of base materialism, his penchant for the lowly, the rejected, and the reviled. Like Head on a Rod and The Hand, Giacometti's The Leg has a severed, mutilated aspect. In contrast to Bataille, however, whose privileged territory was the lowest and whose intent was to devalue the elevated and the ideal, Giacometti sought to raise what was low: a foot is lifted out of the dust and placed on a pedestal and a leg becomes a memorial (Alberto Giacometti, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001, p. 146).
(fig. 1) Alberto Giacometti, Head on a rod, 1947. BARCODE 20627034
(fig. 2) Alberto Giacometti, The Hand, 1947. BARCODE 20627041
(fig. 3) Alberto Giacometti, Le nez, 1947. BARCODE 20627133
Signed and dated 'Alberto Giacometti 4/6 (on the top of the base); inscribed with foundry mark 'Susse Fondeur Paris' (on the side of the base)
IMPRESSIONIST & MODERN ART
Height excluding base: 57 in. (147 cm.)
P. Selz, Alberto Giacometti, New York, 1965, p. 70 (another cast illustrated).
R. Hohl, Alberto Giacometti, Stuttgart, 1971, p. 309, no. 258 (another cast illustrated).
J. Lord, Giacometti, A Biography, New York, 1983, pp. 387-388 (another cast illustrated).
B. Lamarche-Vadel, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1984, p. 142, no. 203 (another cast illustrated).
H. and M. Matter, Alberto Giacometti, New York, 1987, p. 220 (another cast illustrated, p. 123).
Y. Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti, A Biography of his Work, Paris, 1991, p. 543, no. 563 (another cast illustrated).
Galerie Maeght, Paris.
Robert B. Mayer, Chicago (acquired from the above, 1964); sale, Christie's, New York, 14 November 1989, lot 91.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.