- Grand léopard au repos, petit modèle
- inscribed R. Bugatti, numbered 8 and stamped with the foundry mark A. A. Hébrard cire perdue
- length: 41cm.
- 16 1/8 in.
Private Collection, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2010
Nadine Coleno & Uwe Hucke (eds.), Carlo-Rembrandt-Ettore-Jean Bugatti, New York, 1982, another cast illustrated p. 146
Jacques Chalom des Cordes & Véronique Fromanger des Cordes, Rembrandt Bugatti, catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1987, another cast illustrated p. 200
Edward Horswell, Rembrandt Bugatti, Life in Sculpture, London, 2004, another cast illustrated p. 175 (as dating from 1909)
Véronique Fromanger, Rembrandt Bugatti sculpteur, répertoire monographique, Paris, 2009, no. 271, another cast illustrated p. 322
Grand léopard au repos represents an important stage in Bugatti's stylistic development. Displaying naturalistic characterisation and a dramatic modelled surface, it bears the influence of his fellow sculptor, friend and mentor, Prince Paolo Troubetzkoy. It shows, in many respects, the artist at the height of his powers. While having created some three hundred sculptures during his tragically short life, it is his depictions of big cats that are, for many, his greatest and most charismatic achievements. The present work is imbued with a powerful sense of presence and physicality; the considered and often impressionistic surfaces of many of his earlier works here giving way to a dynamic and confident aesthetic which highlights the underlying musculature of the animal. Bugatti here skilfully captures the essence and vitality of his subject, to create sculptures that give lasting testament to his mastery.
Edward Horswell provides the following analysis of Bugatti's representation of wild cats: 'Often he returns to particular beasts, with whom he had developed a special fascination [...]. The artist's feline sculptures were among his most sought-after [...]. The artist was supremely attuned to his subject's body language' (E. Horswell, op. cit., p. 25).
Bugatti executed Grand léopard au repos in two sizes; according to Véronique Fromanger, the larger size (69cm. long) was executed in an edition of 3 known bronze casts; the original plaster is in the collection of Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome. The present example belongs to the smaller size, and is from an edition of at least 23 known casts (V. Fromanger, op. cit., p. 322).