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Rembrandt Bugatti, Ready to Take Off

Published on , by Claire Papon et Sophie Reyssat
Auction on 09 December 2022 - 14:00 (CET) - Salle 1-7 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

Storks are said to bring good luck. They certainly did to Bugatti, as this group cast by Hébrard attests.

Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916), Les Cigognes au repos, l’une couchée (Storks at Rest,... Rembrandt Bugatti, Ready to Take Off

Rembrandt Bugatti (1884-1916), Les Cigognes au repos, l’une couchée (Storks at Rest, One Lying Down), 1907 bronze proof, lost-wax cast by Albino Palazzolo, signed vintage edition by Hébrard, unique piece mentioned, 27.5 x 45.8 x 16.5 cm/10.82 x 18.03 x 6.50 in.
Estimate: €250,000/350,000

This bronze group cast by Hébrard will be the highlight in a sale of 20th-century decorative arts. Bugatti’s love of animals is perceptible in the storks, which he must have observed with deep respect to avoid disturbing the serenity of their sleep. He may have studied them during one of his frequent stays at his brother's house in Illkirch-Graffenstaden, Alsace or at the Antwerp Zoo—a photograph shows him feeding a stork. He went to the Flemish city in 1907 at the invitation of Belgium’s Royal Zoological Society, which every year offered young sculptors an opportunity to work in what was then Europe’s largest zoo. In the spring of that year, he unveiled his new creations at Adrien-Aurélien Hébrard’s gallery in Paris, which also exhibited his father Carlo’s works in silver. This bronze, a one-off piece with a richly nuanced dark brown patina, which made the reputation of the founder whose stamp it bears, was shown there. Bugatti and Hébrard had had a contract since 1904. Hébrard, who collected contemporary sculpture, recognized in these animal subjects "the quiver of life that moves heartfelt works". Bugatti’s storks are naturalistic, although their anatomy is not precisely detailed. The spontaneity of their creation, perceptible in places through thumb modeling that catches the light, brings them to life.

Friday 09 December 2022 - 14:00 (CET) - Live
Salle 1-7 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009
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