The Art of Bugatti

The Mullin Automotive Museum houses more than 75 pieces of furniture by Carlo Bugatti, numerous sculptures by Rembrandt, and the largest private collection of Ettore and Jean Bugatti automobiles in the world.

Patriarch Carlo Bugatti produced paintings, sketches, furniture, sculpture, jewelry, musical instruments, and other decorative pieces over a career that spanned four decades. Sharp angles, sinuous curves and a collision of shapes defined an exotic geometry that few artists of the day could replicate.

Displaying remarkable talent for rendering three-dimensional forms at an early age, Rembrandt Bugatti favored using animals as his models. The poses he captured convey playfulness and grace. He spent countless hours at the Antwerp Royal Zoological Garden where he developed an intimate fellowship with his subjects.

Ettore Bugatti’s first known vehicle, a tricycle with a two-cylinder De Dion engine built in 1899 won several races. By 1910, he was debuting his creations at the famed Paris Auto Salon. In 1924, Ettore’s masterpiece, the Type 35, dominated the track launching a six-year winning streak.

In 1927, at only 18 years of age, Jean Bugatti, the eldest son of Ettore, saw his first coach roll out of the Bugatti factory door: a Type 40 with bodywork reminiscent of a classic 17th-century hackney coach, or “fiacre.” The design was included as a body option in the 1927 Bugatti catalogue for the Type 44.