when was alberto giacometti’s man pointing finished?
Giacometti made six casts of the work plus one artist’s proof. Pointing Man is in the collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, London’s Tate Gallery, and the Des Moines Art Center.  One of the others is also in a museum, and the rest are in foundation collections or owned privately. 
L’Homme au doigt (Pointing Man or Man Pointing) is a 1947 bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, that became the most expensive sculpture ever when it sold for US$141.3 million on 11 May 2015. 
Such sculptures were full of meaning to Sartre, who said of them, “At first glance we seem to be up against the fleshless martyrs of Buchenwald. But a moment later we have a quite different conception: these fine and slender natures rise up to heaven. We seem to have come across a group of Ascensions.”
In the years leading up to World War II, Giacometti abandoned his earlier Surrealism. Dissatisfied with the resource of imagination, he returned to the resource of vision, focusing on the human figure and working from live models. Under his eyes, however, these models seem virtually to have dissolved. Working in clay (the preparation to casting in bronze), Giacometti scraped away the body’s musculature, so that the flesh seems eaten off by a terrible surrounding emptiness, or to register the air around it as a hostile pressure. Recording the touch of the artist’s fingers, the surface of Man Pointing is as rough as if charred or corroded. At the same time, the figure dominates its space, even from a distance.
Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, announces a major highlight of its upcoming spring auction in New York: Alberto Giacometti’s most iconic and evocative sculpture, L’homme au doigt (Pointing Man) . Cast in bronze and standing whippet-thin at five feet ten inches, this dynamic and powerful figure is widely recognized as one of the most important sculptural achievements of the Modern era, created by the greatest master of the medium. It has never before been offered at auction. The sculpture will be featured in Christie’s May 11 sale, Looking Forward to the Past, at an estimate in the region of $130 million, a reflection of the rarity and significance of this extraordinary work of art.
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Inscribed ‘A. Giacometti 3/6’ on upper surface of base and ‘Alexis. Rudier | Fondeur. Paris’ back of base
Bronze, 70 x 35 1/2 x 24 1/2 (178 x 90.2 x 62.2)
Purchased from the artist (Knapping Fund) 1949
Exh: Alberto Giacometti: Sculpture, Paintings, Drawings, Arts Council Gallery, London, June-July 1955 (15, detail repr.); Alberto Giacometti, Kunsthalle, Bern, June-July 1956 (18, repr.); XXXI Biennale, Venice, June- October 1962 (Giacometti 82); Alberto Giacometti, Kunsthaus, Zurich, December 1962-January 1963 (29, repr.); Alberto Giacometti: Sculpture Pantings Drawings 1913-65, Tate Gallery, July-August 1965 (33, plaster repr.); Alberto Giacometti, Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, October 1969-January 1970 (48, repr.)
Lit: James Lord, A Giacometti Portrait (New York 1965), p.34; Reinhold Hohl, Alberto Giacometti: Sculpture Painting Drawing (London 1972), pp.135-9, 302, repr. p.117
Repr: Andrew Carnduff Ritchie, Sculpture of the Twentieth Century (New York 1952), p.210; John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery (London 1958), pl.23
Between 1936 and 1940, Giacometti concentrated his sculpting on the human head, focusing on the sitter’s gaze. He preferred models he was close to—his sister and the artist Isabel Rawsthorne (then known as Isabel Delmer). This was followed by a phase in which his statues of Isabel became stretched out; her limbs elongated.  Obsessed with creating his sculptures exactly as he envisioned through his unique view of reality, he often carved until they were as thin as nails and reduced to the size of a pack of cigarettes, much to his consternation. A friend of his once said that if Giacometti decided to sculpt you, “he would make your head look like the blade of a knife”.
Giacometti died in 1966 of heart disease (pericarditis) and chronic bronchitis at the Kantonsspital in Chur, Switzerland. His body was returned to his birthplace in Borgonovo, where he was interred close to his parents.