Mirror online - Kenneth Clark TV - Horace - Jacob Bronowski TV - Horizon TV - Tracey Emin - Peter Marino - David Olusoga TV -
Yesterday a bronze sculpture was auctioned to an anonymous bidder for £65 million, which made it the most expensive piece of art ever to be sold.
We take a look at the man behind L’Homme Qui Marche ...
1. Alberto was born on 10th October 1901 in an Italian-speaking area of Switzerland to a well-known Post-Impressionist painter.
2. As a child, he drew pictures from the fairy-tales he heard and remembers being quite arrogant. He believed he could copy or understand anything better than anyone else.
3. In 1922 he went to Paris to learn from popular sculptor, Antoine Bourdelle.
4. At first his sculptures were of human heads. He used his brother and artist friend, Isabel Delmer, as models.
5. In 1941 he made friends with famous Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
6. War in France forced him back to Switzerland where he made tiny sculptures, said to fit into half a dozen matchboxes.
7. On his return to Paris after the war, his sculptors became much taller and thinner. He said the final result represented the sensation he felt when he looked at a woman.
8. In 1962 he was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, which won him global recognition. He had exhibitions around Europe and in New York.
9. In 1963 he had an operation for stomach cancer and said: ‘The strange thing is – as a sickness I always wanted to have this one.’
10. He died in 1966 of a heart attack in Switzerland. Mirror online article 4th February 2010, ‘Alberto Giacometti: 10 Things You Need to Know About the Art Behind £65 Million Walking Man 1 Bronze Sculpture’
The Bronze Baldacchino ... It’s incredible ... The perfection of craftsmanship that extends to every detail. Kenneth Clark, Civilisation 7/13: Grandeur & Obedience, BBC 1969
I have erected a monument more lasting than bronze. Horace, Odes
Bronze becomes from this time onwards a material for all purposes: the plastic of its age. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 4/13: The Hidden Structure, BBC 1973
Deep inside this ancient mine is the key to one of Europe’s biggest archaeological mysteries. It’s a story that begins with a robbery from a burial site in the dark heart of Europe ... At its heart is one small piece of bronze. This is the extraordinary tale of how one small bronze disc is rewriting the story of how civilisation may have first come to ancient Europe. Horizon: Secrets of the Star Disc, BBC 2004
This forest in eastern Germany contains some of Europe’s oldest human settlements. ibid.
In 1999 three men came combing through this forest with metal detectors ... After a brief struggle the earth gave up a treasure it had kept safe for over three thousand years. What these robbers didn’t realise was that they may have dug up one of the most significant archaeological finds of the century ... A fantastic hoard of what seemed to be bronze-age treasure. There were jewels, tools and swords. But there was something else too: a disc of exquisite design. ibid.
And for the first time Harald Meller [archaeologist] really took in the disc. There inlaid in gold was the reason why it had been called magical. An incredible picture of the sky with the sun, moon and what seemed to be stars. Nothing like this had ever been seen before. ibid.
‘We could securely date the disc to 1,600 BC.’ ibid. expert
The oldest accurate picture of the night sky in all history. ibid.
I’ve been making bronze sculptures for a long time. My sculptures are wholly unsuccessful and uncommercial. No-one is even the remotest bit interested in them. So it’s almost like my hobby. Tracey Emin
All bronzes are made to be touched. Bronze is a sensual ‘living’ material. The sweat and oil of your palms adds to the patination. Peter Marino
The Benin bronzes: they are now regarded as one of Africa’s greatest treasures. David Olusoga, Civilisations s1e6: First Contact, BBC 2018