Rembrandt BUGATTI

(1884-1916)

Little Panther

Rembrandt BUGATTI

(1884-1916)

Little Panther

CAPTION

Height : 17.5 cm - 0' 6⁷/₈" in.
Depth : 12.5 cm - 0' 4⁷/₈" in.
Width :37.5 cm - 1' 2³/₄" in.

PROVENANCE

Provenance of a private collection.

LITERATURE

See page 340 item 231 of the catalogue raisonné "Rembrand Bugatti répertoire monographique" by Véronique Fromanger.
 

EXHIBITIONS

Temporary exhibitions: 1913 et 1922 « Rembrandt Bugatti, Rétrospective », Galerie A.-A Hébrard, Paris; 1978, The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, tirage (8), collection of Mr et Mrs Joseph Tanenbaum, Toronto.
 

DESCRIPTION

Bronze with brown green patina. Signed "R.Bugatti". Cast from Hébrard realised by Albino Palazzolo with the mark « cire perdue A.A.Hébrard » (lost wax). Numbered 10.
Model 1909-1910
Circa before 1928
Edition in bronze listed at 10 numbered proofs.

Rembrandt Bugatti was an Italian sculptor best known for his exotic animals bronze sculptures. Born on the 16th of October 1884 in Milano, son of the famous Art-Nouveau designer Carlo Bugatti, he benefited, at an early age, from support and influence. The eminent sculptor, Prince Paolo Troubetskoy thus encouraged him to use modelling clay. His sculptures started to be shown in the gallery of the founder A. Hébrard. 
Bugatti's pieces were moulded by hours and hours spent observing and studying animals in European menageries, especially in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris and in the zoo of Antwerp. Greatly affected by depression and financial difficulties, Bugatti spent the last years of his life as a volunteer for the Antwerp Zoo. When many of the animals he took care of, which had been his models and to which he had grown strongly attached- started to be killed due to food shortage - Rembrandt felt deeper in depression. He committed suicide on the 8th January 1916 at the age of 31.

Little panther
At all times, panthers have been a particular spur to the imagination. Bugatti used to spend time every day at the menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes to see the panthers which he considered as his "life and work companions". He would then talk at length with the healers who tended the animals, in a mixture of French and Italian. 
Bugatti had been permitted to visit the big cats, which had got used to the sculptor's presence, outside the opening hours of the menagerie. These privileged moments of observation and approach gave him a thorough knowledge of their habits and behaviour. Bugatti thereby captured the big cats energy, dynamism and power and restored these perceptions in his sculptures.
This sculpture was acquired directly from the founder A.A. Hébrard, in October 1928, at a cost of 8000 francs. (The invoice is in our possession).