Sailing to New York in 1965 for the opening of the big retrospective show of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, Alberto Giacometti wrote a preface to the collection of drawings later published as Giacometti: A Sketchbook of Interpretive Drawings.1 For many years he had made copies of images originated by others—a Rubens at the Borghese Gallery, a Pintoricchio at the Vatican, a Matisse or Egyptian sculptures in Paris, a Japanese print at his family home in Stampa. During his transatlantic voyage, in his mind’s eye he suddenly saw them as an interfused but not undifferentiated community of forms: “How can one describe all that? The entire art of the past, of all periods, of all civilizations rises before my mind, becomes a simultaneous vision, as if time had become...


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