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