‘My attachment to Giacometti grew into the bedrock of my existence’

Michael Peppiatt is an octogenarian English art historian, based in London and Paris, who has met many of the artists he writes about. But, sadly, he never met Alberto Giacometti. He was working as a translator when, in 1966, he applied for a junior editor’s job at Réalités magazine in Paris and, much to his surprise, got it. He went to say goodbye to his friend Francis Bacon,who offered to give him an introduction to Giacometti. Bacon wrote it in felt-tip on a torn-out page of Paris Match and told Peppiatt to take it round to Giacometti’s studio, which he did. But then he stood irresolute at the door, lacking