Rembrandt Bugatti was one of the most remarkable and independently inventive sculptors of the early twentieth century. Although his career was cut short by his tragic suicide at age 31, he produced more than three hundred works, including theMoreRembrandt Bugatti was one of the most remarkable and independently inventive sculptors of the early twentieth century. Although his career was cut short by his tragic suicide at age 31, he produced more than three hundred works, including the small-scale bronze animal sculptures for which he is best known.Rembrandt Bugatti: The Sculptor 1884–1916 offers a comprehensive retrospective of Bugatti’s brief but highly productive career.
Making his first professional appearance at the Venice Biennale in 1902, Bugatti followed in the tradition of the great impressionists Medardo Rosso, Edgar Degas, and Auguste Rodin, with additional influences from art nouveau, symbolism, and the elegance of the Belle Époque, the latter through well-known Russian sculptor and friend of the family, Prince Paul Troubetzkoy.
Animals remained a common theme throughout Bugatti’s work and presented ample opportunities for experimentation, since they were well-established neither in the academic tradition nor as a theme in art. While his earlier models and maquettes closely mimic the creatures on which they are based, Bugatti’s later, more technically advanced works tend toward geometric abstraction utilizing angular shapes produced with a palette knife. His last sculptures of tigers, in particular, appear almost mechanical and show how truly ahead of his time Bugatti was by the end of his career.In showing the entire range of Bugatti’s work, this beautifully illustrated book reveals the impressive command the artist had over his sculptural ability at such a young age.
Together with his striking tendency toward artistic experimentation, it demonstrates why his work remains well-loved and in the permanent collections of many museums today.