Overview

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Rembrandt Bugatti (1885-1916)
Rembrandt Bugatti (1885-1916)

Grand tigre royal

Details
Rembrandt Bugatti (1885-1916)
Grand tigre royal
signed, numbered and stamped with foundry mark 'R. Bugatti CIRE PERDUE A.A. HEBRARD A3' (on the base)
bronze with dark brown patina
Length: 28¼ in. (71.7 cm.)
Conceived circa 1913 and cast in the artist's lifetime
Provenance
Galerie A.A. Hébrard, Paris.
Maison Jansen (acquired from the above).
Literature
P. Dejean, Carlo Rembrandt Ettore Jean Bugatti, Paris, 1981, pp. 146-147 (illustrated).
J..C. des Cordes and V.F. des Cordes, Rembrandt Bugatti: Catalgoue raisonné, Paris, 1987, pp. 306-307 (illustrated).
H.H. Hawley, Bugatti, The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999, p. 77 (illustrated, p. 78).
E. Horswell, Rembrandt Bugatti: Life in Sculpture, London, 2004, p. 187 (illustrated pp. 175, 188-9, 268)

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the new edition of the Rembrandt Bugatti Catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Véronique Fromanger.

This magnificent sculpture represents the last stage in Bugatti's stylistic development and in many respects the height of his achievement as an artist. While having created some three hundred sculptures during his tragically short life, it is his depictions of big cats that are, for many, his greatest and most charismatic works. Having spent a period of ten years sculpting and studying the animals at close hand, Bugatti acquired considerable knowledge of their attitudes and behavior, and would apply this to greatest effect in his final works. Created in 1913, less than three years before his untimely death at the age of 31, the Grand tigre royal is one of his last and most compelling sculptures, embodying as it does his late and most expressionistic technique. The piece is imbued with a powerful sense of movement and dynamism; the considered and often impressionistic surfaces of many of his earlier works here giving way to rich striations and lines that crisscross irregularly, rendering simultaneously the stripes of the coat and the musculature beneath. An essay in anatomical accuracy and awareness of form, Bugatti here skillfully captures the essence and vitality of his subject, to create a sculpture that gives lasting testament to his mastery.

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