In Petit jaguar marchant, Bugatti encapsulates the streamlined power and slinking, feline gait of the big cat in a whimsical yet entirely naturalistic composition. The artist's meticulous attention to the nuances of musculature and movement, as well as his infinitely subtler references to emotion and personality, underscores his respect and awe for the beast immortalized here. As the artist himself once stated, "I will work with all my strength to go as high as I am able. I hope and I believe that I will succeed in creating a work such as no other animal sculptor ancient or modern has achieved before" (quoted in Phillipe Dejean, Bugatti, Carlo-Rembrandt-Ettore-Jean, Paris, 1981, p. 141).
Louis Comfort Tiffany, arguably America's most famous designer, was a passionate admirer of Rembrandt Bugatti and once owned this very cast.
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