65
65

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Rembrandt Bugatti
BABOUIN SACRÉ HAMADRYAS
Estimate
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 2,770,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
65

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION

Rembrandt Bugatti
BABOUIN SACRÉ HAMADRYAS
Estimate
2,000,0003,000,000
LOT SOLD. 2,770,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Rembrandt Bugatti
1884 - 1916
BABOUIN SACRÉ HAMADRYAS
Inscribed with the signature R. Bugatti, stamped A.A. HEBRARD and numbered 2
Bronze 
Length: 17 1/4 in.
44 cm
Conceived circa 1909–10 and cast between 1909 and circa 1934.

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Provenance

Ettore Bugatti (a gift from the artist, possibly circa 1914)

Private Collection (acquired as a gift from the above)

Thence by descent to the present owner

Literature

Marcel Schiltz, Rembrandt Bugatti (exhibition catalogue), Antwerp, 1955, illustration of another cast p. 57

Umberto di Cristina, Bugatti: Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore: I mobile, I soprammobili, le automobile (exhibition catalogue), Rome, 1976, illustration of the plaster p. 12

Mary Harvey, The Bronzes of Rembrandt Bugatti (1885-1916): An Illustrated Catalogue and Biography,London, 1979, pp. 18 & 23

Philippe Dejean, Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore, Jean Bugatti, Paris, 1981, illustration of another cast p. 210

Victoria Sandwick Schmitt, Four Centuries of Sporting Art: Selections from The John L. Wehle Collection, Gallery of Sporting Art, Genesee Country Museum, Mumford, New York, 1984, illustration of another cast p. 141

Jacques Chalom des Cordes & Véronique Fromanger des Cordes, Rembrandt Bugatti, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1987, illustration of another cast pp. 232-233

Bernard Lamarche-Vadel, ed., Bugatti, les meubles, Bugatti, les sculptures, Bugatti, les autos, Paris, 1995, p. 131

Henry H. Hawley, Bugatti (exhibition catalogue), The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1999, illustration of another cast  p. 70

Edward Horswell, Rembrandt Bugatti, Life in Sculpture, London, 2004, illustrated pp. 208-09 and illustrations of another cast pp. 11, 17, 252, 255 & 265

Véronique Fromanger, Rembrandt Bugatti Sculpteur- Répertoire monographique, Paris, 2009, no. 234, illustration of another cast pp. 164, 171 & 310

Catalogue Note

The Grand Babouin sacré "hamadryas", also known as Singe cynocéphale, is among Bugatti's most celebrated sculptures.  This extraordinary creature was one of the last major pieces that Bugatti created before his tragic death in 1916.  The form of the animal, positioned characteristically on all fours, is suprisingly modern given the artist's faithful attention to the nuances of the simian form.  With its muscular bodily contours, Bugatti's sophisticated rendering here presages the angular façades of urban Art Deco architecture in the 1920s and 1930s and the planar formalism of Cubism during the war. 

Bugatti was unique among modernist sculptors in focusing on depictions of exotic animals.  He was so fascinated by these creatures and their behavioral nuances that he studied them in person as much as he could, working primarily outdoors at the Jardin Zoologique in Antwerp after moving to the city in 1907.  He rendered his figures in plastiline, a typical Italian modeling clay, using strokes of his thumbs.  Following completion of his models, he worked with the Hébrard foundry with the aid of chief founder Albino Palazzolo, who cast the finished sculptures in bronze. 

The present bronze is numbered 2 of only 11 recorded bronze casts created of this majestic figure of a baboon.  Other casts of this work are in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.  The plaster cast of the model was donated by the founder Adrien Hébrard to the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome in 1924. 

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York