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Kunsthaus Zürich

Augusto Giacometti
«The Circle of the Planets» (1907)

Augusto Giacometti (1877–1947) is regarded as a major exponent of Art Nouveau and Symbolism, but he also plays a pioneering role in the development of the international Abstract movement. Throughout his life, he dealt intensively with the theme of colour, in works that ranged between abstraction and representation. He was a free spirit, both stylistically and in the techniques he used to translate his idiosyncratic visual ideas into paintings.

Painting Conservation
Painted in 1907, ‘The Circle of the Planets’ entered the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1967 from the artist’s estate via the Erwin Poeschel Collection. Conservation issues soon became apparent, which are primarily attributable to Giacometti’s experimental painting technique. A glance at the restoration file reveals that the work has undergone conservation treatment more than once since arriving at the Kunsthaus, owing to adhesion problems with the paint layer. Investigations suggest that the artist himself may have attempted to tackle them, reworking some areas while the painting was still in his studio.

However, the interventions never produced the desired result - until now. Thanks to the currrent conservation project our understanding of the causes behind the noticeable damage have been improved. The painting has been consolidated and thus stabilized, so further losses of paint layer were prevented. Since July 2018 the painting is back on display.

Supported by:
Ars Rhenia Foundation for the trans-regional promotion of art and culture

Fig. 1
Augusto Giacometti, «The Circle of the Planets», oil on canvas 268 x 218 cm, 1907
Fig. 1
Augusto Giacometti, «The Circle of the Planets», oil on canvas 268 x 218 cm, 1907