Thursday, March 5, 2009

BUGATTI - Carlo, Rembrandt, Ettore, Jean

A small, delectable exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria.
An exhibition on one of the most famous, influential families for the arts that we've ever had, The Bugatti's.
The following is an excerpt from the exhibition:
"Whether one regards as more significant the Bugattis' successes or failures in overcoming the dilemma of art in the modern world, their creations are there to be enjoyed. Their efforts need no further justification than their achievements. We can only be grateful to an Italian family that has visually enriched the twentieth century with such original and delightful work."
Malcolm Haslam, Introduction to The Amazing Bugattis,
The Design Council, London 1979

The Bugatti story encompasses three generations and four remarkable personalities: Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940), his sons Ettore (1881-1947) and Rembrandt (1881-1916). and Ettore's son Gianoberto (Jean)(1909-39). Their story and the diverse works they have contributed to twentieth century art and design is remarkable, stretching from furniture in the late nineteenth century to cars in the twentieth, and from intimate sculptures of animals to Art Deco coachwork.

Woven into the story of this artistic production is a personal family story which carries it's own complexity and pathos. Through the complicated period of European history from 1900 to 1947, the Bugatti family pursued their particular ideals, individuality and instincts with unrelenting creative vigour and purpose.
With the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 - following the deaths of his brother Rembrandt, his son Jean and his father Carlo - a truly amazing moment in the creative life of the twentieth century closed.

The Bugatti family left a legacy of work that is unparalleled in art history, a body of material that stands alone, and has defied conventional art historical categorisation.

The Exhibition:

Carlo Bugatti (1856-1940)

Ettore Bugatti (1881-1947)

Rembrandt Bugatti (1881-1916)

Jean Bugatti (1909-1939)




Ettore Bugatti TYPE 37 1926


Jean Bugatti TYPE 57C 'Atalante' 1938

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