People in motion

Alberto Giacometti is best known and admired for his tall, thin human figures in bronze. In this series of sculptures from the years 1945-1960, by his own account Giacometti is influenced by the impressions he takes from the people hurrying in the big city. He is fascinated by people in motion, which he sees as ‘a succession of moments of stillness’.

Thin and reduced

This Walking man II barely has any volume. Everything about him is thin and reduced, not only the extremely slender torso, arms and legs, but also the tiny head. The clenched hands and the strange club-feet, which seem to stick to the ground, are abnormally large in comparison to the rest of the figure. The man leans forward, on his way to an unknown destination.


The emaciated figures are often interpreted as an expression of the existential fear and fundamental loneliness of humankind. This, however, is not Giacometti’s intention. In creating these sculptures, he is perhaps driven by the realization of the insignificance of humans, but for him the works are above all a quest for the image of humankind in space.

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