the other Bugatti

In these hyperbolic times, the word genius is, of course, badly overused. But much as those witnessing the recent tsunami surely found the experience to be awesome, no matter how badly the impact of the word has been degraded, it is still thoroughly invogorating to come in contact with the work of a true genius.

Take the sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti, for example. His better known brother is responsible for the classic automobiles which bear the family name, but Rembrandt proved to be such a talent that the seemingly unrealistic expectations implicit in his first name proved, remarkably, to be nothing of the sort.

He was, sadly, a troubled genius, and committed suicide at the age of 31. But during his relative short life, he produced some of–no, make that the finest animal sculptures ever created.

As you might expect, it was not simply a matter of his having understood the physiology of his animal subjects; others have also gotten that part of the equation right. It was his ability to capture them in such natural poses that, like the very finest painters and photographers, his work draws us into paying careful attention to something which we might otherwise take for granted.

Views of some of his other sculptures can be found at this archived Sladmore Gallery exhibition.





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