Jean-René Gauguin, ‘Unique sculpture depicting a tiger cub’, 1920s, Gallery BAC
Jean-René Gauguin, ‘Unique sculpture depicting a tiger cub’, 1920s, Gallery BAC

Jean René Gauguin (1881-1961) was the fourth child of painter Paul Gauguin and Mette Sophie Gad. He was raised by his mother and grandparents in Copenhagen, having last seen his father at the age of ten for two weeks before he departed for Tahiti. At the age of fourteen, he dropped out of school to train as a sailor. After a brief stint of studying carpentry, he worked as a sailor until he inherited three paintings from his father in 1904. Jean René promptly sold the artworks and used the money to travel through Europe, voraciously visiting museums wherever he could, and by 1910 he became an active and prolific sculptor.

His first major accolades were for a sculpture of a boxer created in 1922 for the 1924 Paris Olympics, for which he received a bronze medal. He also received a grand prize in ceramics at the 1925 Paris Exposition for his sculptures of mythological figures produced by Bing and Grøndahl.

Although he also worked in wood and bronze, Gauguin is primarily known as a ceramist, creating models for Sleiss, Bing and Grøndahl, and Sèvres. His work for Bing and Grøndahl is prized for its expressive quality, often executed in a proprietary clay body called “ceramic rock,” and using bright colors. Animals were a frequent subject in his work, such as this simultaneously charming and genuinely ferocious depiction of a tiger cub.

Signature: Marked for B&G and artist signature on underside

Image rights: Gallery BAC

About Jean-René Gauguin