Adrien Aurelin Hébrard, Paris (before 1934)
Michel Kellermann, Paris
Cecile Singer (acquired from the above and sold: Sotheby's, New York, March 10, 2005, lot 5)
Sladmore Gallery, London (acquired at the above sale )
Acquired from the above in 2005
Paris, Galerie Paul Ambroise, A Century of Animalier Bronzes, 1975
New York, Macklowe Gallery, Rembrandt Bugatti 1885-1916, 1979
Mary Harvey, The Bronzes of Rembrandt Bugatti (1885-1916): An Illustrated Catalogue and Biography, London, 1979, no. 82, p. 64
Philippe Dejean, Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore, Jean Bugatti, New York, 1982, illustrated pp. 190-191
Jacques Chalom des Cordes & Véronique Fromanger des Cordes, Rembrandt Bugatti, Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1987, illustrated pp. 250-51
Edward Horswell, Rembrandt Bugatti, Life in Sculpture, London, 2004, illustrated p. 20
Véronique Fromanger, Rembrandt Bugatti, Sculpteur - Répertoire Monographique, Paris, 2009, no. 225, illustrated pp. 182, 184 & 307
The graceful giraffe, with its willowy neck arched towards the earth, exemplifies Bugatti's brilliance at capturing the curvilinear elegance of an animal's anatomy. The artist was so charmed by the poise of this African mammal that he sculpted it in two variations. The present work, which is the most visually complex of the series, holds the pose that can be seen in the photograph of the artist and his subject at the Antwerp zoo. The present bronze, which is numbered along the back edge of the base, is the sixth of an edition of six works ever to be cast of this sculpture.
As explained by Edward Horswell in his monograph on the artist, Bugatti, like the great painters of animals George Stubbs and Eugène Delacroix, "would bring to this tradition his own vision, empathy with animals and truth to observation. He would surpass the genre of 'animal art' and resist all definition as an artist, other than as one who forged his own vision and style. He used animal subjects at once for their own sake and as vehicles for the expression of emotion and the celebration of aesthetic form. He remained aloof from both the avant-garde and the conservative trends of his time. The distinctive, deeply rewarding, sometimes disturbing oeuvre that he created remains unique in art history."
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