Bu­gatti Cen­ten­nial

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE ON SATURDAY -

On 22 No­vem­ber, Christie’s Paris will or­gan­ise a the­matic sale ded­i­cated to Rem­brandt Bu­gatti. This sale will com­mem­o­rate the 100 years an­niver­sary of the artist’s death and the new edi­tion of Véronique Fro­manger’s mono­graph on the artist. The 17 lots of­fered in this sale will pay trib­ute to this re­mark­able artist, in­clud­ing ex­cep­tional pieces se­lected from the col­lec­tion of Alain Delon.

Véronique Fro­manger: “In cel­e­bra­tion of the cen­te­nary of Rem­brandt Bu­gatti (1884-1916) Christie’s Paris presents at auc­tion seventeen of the artist’s sculp­tures. The sub­jects, in bronze and in mar­ble, in­clude sev­eral big cats, birds, a group of yaks, an ele­phant and three gazelles, a gasp­ing deer, a rest­ing dog, and three fe­male fig­ures – all cast by one of the great­est founders of all time, Adrien Aurélien Hébrard.

The present, unique assem­bly of col­lec­tions, brought to­gether by Christie’s, Paris, em­braces ev­ery aspect of Rem­brandt Bu­gatti’s cre­ativ­ity, both in the stylis­tic range of the sub­jects and in the story told by their ex­cep­tional prove­nances.”

Amongst the 17 lots gath­ered in this sale, col­lec­tors will have the chance to dis­cover stun­ning works by Rem­brandt Bu­gatti se­lected from the per­sonal col­lec­tion of Alain Delon. As a real pas­sion­ate col­lec­tor, Alain Delon has al­ways nour­ished a de­vour­ing pas­sion for the sculp­tures by Rem­brandt Bu­gatti. He was shat­tered by the tragic destiny of the artist, who com­mit­ted sui­cide at the age of 32 be­cause he couldn’t cope with the af­ter­math of war. Alain Delon al­ways felt close to the hu­man be­ing be­hind the sculp­tor and also shared the same pas­sion for fe­lines.

Alain Delon: “When I learned about this an­niver­sary sale at Christie’s, I wanted to be in­volved, to par­tic­i­pate with a se­lec­tion from my col­lec­tion of R. Bu­gatti, to ac­com­pany Rem­brandt, just as I have al­ways done, for nearly 50 years now, so that he re­mains present and alive, be­cause he is more alive than ever.

With Véronique (Fro­manger) and my dear-de­parted Alain (Le­sieu­tre), we dis­cov­ered him. We in­spired many oth­ers, and I wish that that con­tin­ues.

The real ge­nius ‘Bu­gatti’ is of course Rem­brandt – that this name was given to him by his un­cle, in homage to the great painter, was in­deed prophetic. That, is why I am here”. From his child­hood, Rem­brandt Bu­gatti had de­vel­oped a tal­ent in sculp­ture. In 1903, he first dis­cov­ered the Jardin des

Plantes in Paris with amaze­ment and later the zoo of An­twerp in Bel­gium. Through numer­ous hours of ob­ser­va­tion and hun­dreds of draw­ings, Bu­gatti cap­tured the an­i­mals’ ap­pear­ance, move­ment and anatomy that he then turned into el­e­gant bronze sculp­tures, thanks to his friend­ship with Hébrard (the renowned founder).

Amongst the high­lights of Delon’s se­lec­tion, Christie’s will present a beau­ti­ful bronze of Deux grands léopards (above),

from 1913, es­ti­mated €500,000700,000 and Les Pan­thères, l’une se léchant la patte, l’autre au re­pos,

dated from 1905 and es­ti­mated €300,000-500,000. Other wild an­i­mals are also in­cluded in this group such as Eléphant d’Afrique

et trois gazelles (top), cre­ated around 1904. Only two num­bered ver­sions of this sculp­ture are known, the plas­ter be­ing pre­served to­day at the Musée d’Or­say. One of his ele­phant sculp­ture was cho­sen by Et­tore Bu­gatti to rep­re­sent the car mas­cot of the Bu­gatti Royale.

Three other non-an­i­mal sculp­tures are also part of Alain Delon’s se­lec­tion such as Femme

au bas, a rare bronze rep­re­sent­ing a stand­ing woman wear­ing tights. Made in 1906 and com­ing from a group of only four ex­ist­ing sculp­tures, this work of art is es­ti­mated €400,000600,000. An­other stand­ing woman is part of the col­lec­tion: Je­une fille, a bronze from 1906 which is es­ti­mated be­tween €80,000 and 120,000. The third one is very rare since it is made of mar­ble in­stead of bronze. In­deed, Femme à genoux or Le

Réveil was made in 1907 and rep­re­sents a kneel­ing woman (right). This sculp­ture which was ex­hib­ited at the 9th Venice Bi­en­nale is es­ti­mated €80,000120,000.

Along­side, the ex­cep­tional sculp­tures se­lected from Alain Delon’s col­lec­tion, con­nois­seurs will have the chance to ac­quire a very rare Pan­thère jouant avec

une boulle made circa 1907 (€800,000-1,200,000) and which is the first model of only re­pos made circa 1907 and es­ti­mated €150,000-200,000 and a Jaguar

ac­croupi, pe­tit mod­èle made circa 1908, es­ti­mated €35,000-45,000.

Sale: Tues­day 22 No­vem­ber 2016 at 6pm Christie’s: 9 av­enue Matignon, 75008 Paris

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