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Biography

Giovanni Giacometti was a Swiss painter and graphic artist. Together with his friend, the painter Cuno Amiet, he introduced the painting style of Post-Impressionism into Swiss art.

Giovanni Giacometti studied from 1886 to 1887 in Munich and from 1888 to 1891 together with Cuno Amiet and Andrea Robbi at the Académie Julian in Paris under William Adolphe Bouguereau and Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury. He was influenced by the Fauves, Cuno Amiet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and at the beginning of his artistic career especially by Giovanni Segantini, who promoted him in Maloja from 1894. Around 1900 he broke away from Segantini's Divisionist painting style and began to adopt the post-Impressionist style of French painting.

In 1900 Giacometti married Annetta, born Stampa (1871-1964); their children were Alberto, Diego, Ottilia (1904-1937) and Bruno Giacometti. Until 1904 the family lived in the mountain village of Borgonovo in Bergell; they then moved to nearby Stampa in a house whose stable Giovanni Giacometti used as a studio. The family regularly spent the summer in Capolago near Maloja. In 1908 Giacometti received an invitation to exhibit in Dresden together with the artists of the Brücke group. Between 1906 and 1911 he painted in an expressive style. In 1912 he had an exhibition at the Kunsthaus Zürich.

Giacometti's work consists of impressionistic landscape paintings and portraits of his family and neighbouring personalities such as the painter Elvezia Michel-Baldini. Some of his paintings are also in the Symbolist style. His works are represented in most Swiss museums.