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Head of Zeus
The Animal Gazer
The Animal Gazer by Edgardo Franzosini

Rembrandt Bugatti was the brother of the famous builder of luxury sports cars, Ettore. He made stunningly beautiful bronzes of wild animals that he spent days and weeks observing in the Paris and Antwerp Zoos. Sometimes he took the animals to live in his Paris apartment while he worked on his pieces.

Edgardo Franzosini's haunting short novel recreates the eccentric, orderly life of this strange genius, a gentle man who loved animals and created some of the most memorable sculptures of our time. His short life was ruined by the declaration of war in August 1914. As the Germans drew closer to Paris and Antwerp, the zoos in both cities were closed. Then, in fear and panic, the decision was taken to shoot the captive creatures. Firing squads of soldiers massacred the wild cats, elephants and eagles. Bugatti, by then working in a military hospital, killed himself, unable to live in a world that allowed such horrors to be visited on man and beast.

Head of Zeus * Fiction
04 Apr 2019 * 144pp * £4.99 * 9781788549387
REVIEWS
'Rembrandt Bugatti was an extraordinary artist and a breed apart; this moody and atmospheric book captures the obsessive nature of one of the best of a fascinating group of 19th- and early 20th-century animal sculptors'
Ian Wardropper, director, The Frick Collection
Sparkling... The tone is mellifluous throughout... Multi-award-winning Italian author Franzosini's English-language debut is an irresistible, elegantly conceived example of biographical fiction'
Library Journal
Edgardo Franzosini is among the finest contemporary Italian writers... Franzosini illuminates the life of this singular artist... An artist capable of sculpting in bronze the movements of animals and grasping their vitality in such a way that critics, after years of neglect, are discovering its unique power'
Il Giornale
'The Animal Gazer takes you on a glorious journey into the heart of cosmopolitan Paris as you have never known it before. Through the life of Rembrandt Bugatti, a sculptor with the panache of his name, this lively, fast-paced narrative evokes an exceptional epoch in all its color and eccentric charm'
Nicholas Fox Weber
A curious book, part biography, part novel... Michael F. Moore's ripple translation from the Italian conveys the odd blend of detachment and detail... Bugatti's sculptures, his deer, flamingoes and giraffes, stalk across the first page of every chapter, and the man himself is brought back, some wise, to life'
TLS
Author

Edgardo Franzosini

Edgardo Franzosini
Edgardo Franzosini, born in 1952 near Lake Como, is the author of five novels. The Animal Gazer won two distinguished Italian literary awards in 2016, the Premio Comisso and the Premio Dessi. He lives in Milan.
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