When I was at the Yale University Art Gallery the other day, I was captivated by two Alberto Giacometti sculptures on display there: at left, “Grande Femme Debout II (Tall Standing Woman II),” and at right, “Grande Femme Debout III (Tall Standing Woman III),” both from 1960. Granted, I’ve seen plenty of Giacometti sculptures before, and plenty of tall ones, but for some reason “Debout III,” standing at 7 feet 8 inches tall, seemed quite monumental when facing her directly. As you can see, they’re positioned on a pedestal, so that probably adds another 10 inches to the overall height, but if you look closely at the 3rd picture (far right, below), you can see my perspective looking up at her while standing right in front of her.

Being the basketball fan that I am, I wanted to see a comparison between Grande Femme Debout III and a basketball player from the NBA. Gheorghe Muresan, along with Manute Bol, both at 7 foot 7 inches tall, are tied as the tallest players to have ever played in the NBA. So I’ve Photoshopped a couple pictures of Muresan along with Debout III to get a sense of their height compared to the “normal” world. At left, Muresan and Debout III would have to do a lot of ducking in order to fit through most ordinary door frames. And at right, we’ve thrown Billy Crystal into the mix: Crystal, at 5 foot 7 inches, is seen here next to Muresan and Debout III. I just hope they’re not laughing at any “how’s the weather up there” jokes.

Giacometti sculpture and Gheorghe Muresan