When I first discovered the extraordinary work of Rembrandt Bugatti a few years ago, I immediately made the connection with René Lalique. Two emblematic artists of the same period, sharing the same passion for animal sculpture and a deep attachment to Alsace, where Ettore Bugatti, the elder brother of the sculptor, built a factory to manufacture his legendary cars.
Throughout his life, Rembrandt Bugatti strove to immortalize wildlife, rendered through his astonishing talent in images as natural and original as possible. Lalique’s intention in creating this edition is to cast his exceptional oeuvre in a new light, using crystal glass as a medium and the lost-wax technique to preserve and render intact the creative work of Rembrandt Bugatti.
Silvio Denz, Chairman and CEO, Lalique S.A.
Interview with Caroline Bugatti
Caroline Bugatti is the granddaughter of Ettore Bugatti and great-niece of Rembrandt Bugatti.
What would Rembrandt Bugatti have made of these works in crystal?
[…]. It is a way of paying homage to an artist who left his mark on his own times and still fascinates a wide public to this day. There is also the way these works in crystal are created at Lalique, highly crafted, by the hand of man. Each piece is unique.
There has just been a major retrospective in Berlin dedicated to Rembrandt Bugatti. Are there other projects in the pipeline?
Rembrandt’s work is very much appreciated today and coveted by collectors of wildlife art the world over.
[…] Parallel to the exhibition in Berlin, Peter Mullin’s Automotive Museum at Oxnard in California is currently showing a very beautiful exhibition with a wide selection of works by the Bugatti family, including pieces by Carlo, Rembrandt and Ettore.
The wild and wonderful world of the sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti
Rembrandt Bugatti was born in Milan on 16 October 1884. His father Carlo was a renowned architect and furniture designer, and his brother Ettore was the creator of the sumptuous Bugatti automobiles.
By the age of 16, Rembrandt Bugatti was already an accomplished sculptor. He had already found his style and his preferred subject: animals. In 1902, he chose to live close by the Jardin des Plantes, the Botanical Gardens, in Paris, where he would go frequently to study and paint the animals. During this period he got to know the sculptor and artistic metal founder Adrien Aurelien Hébrard.
The year 1907 marked a turning point in his life. The Royal Society of Zoology, based in Antwerp, Belgium, invited him to take up residence there. He was able to work freely in the zoo, exhibit there and sell his work.
He returned to Paris during the First World War. Traumatized by the horrors of war, he was inspired to create one of his last works : a life-sized figure of Christ on the cross. On 8 January 1916, Rembrandt decided to end his life.
Rembrandt Bugatti by Lalique : the works
In the whole history of art, it is he who best understood and represented the animal world in his sculptures, of which some 300 survive. His lions, panthers, giraffes and elephants can be found parading, in all their magnificence, in museums the world over and the private collections of wealthy enthusiasts.
Created using the lost-wax technique, a rare and exceptional skill, and taking the original bronzes of the Egyptian wolf and the Lioness and a replica of the original plaster cast of the Mare as a basis, each of these pieces is unique – carved and sculpted by master glassmakers with an unmatched attention to detail.
These artistic recreations of the Mare, Reclining Egyptian wolf and Yawning lioness are available in limited editions of 8 original works, numbered and signed, and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
REMBRANDT BUGATTI BY LALIQUE : THE DANCING ELEPHANT
Elephants are among the first exotic animals that Rembrandt Bugatti modelled. The small trained elephant was originally designed as a signet for his brother, Ettore, before being rededicated as a radiator ornament for the latter’s most ambitious automobile, the Royale. Only six or seven of these extraordinary limousines were built, with silver casts of the small elephant crowning their radiator caps. And only three were sold ; the remaining ones were kept for the personal use of Ettore and his family.
The limited editions of the Dancing Elephant in clear, black, amber and blue crystal are limited, numbered, signed and accompanied by their own certificate of authenticity.