A one-time assistant in the studio of Auguste Rodin, François Pompon (French, 1855–1923) did not achieve recognition as a sculptor until he was 67 years old. In 1922, his plaster sculpture of a polar bear—nearly ten feet in length—won critical and popular success at the Paris Salon d’Automne. Smoothly modeled and shorn of extraneous detail, the work was later produced in a variety of sizes – from table-top to full-scale – and in a range of media, including plaster, porcelain, and marble. The version in the Metropolitan Museum’s collection was executed in white marble in 1923 and is the source for our flash drive.
Silicone exterior. 4GB USB. 1 1/2''H x 3''W.
- Silicone exterior
- 4GB USB
- 1 1/2''H x 3''W
Art HistorySculptor François Pompon (French, 1855–1933), who spent fifteen years as a stone carver in the studio of Auguste Rodin, won critical success for his plaster model of a polar bear. As a genre, animalier sculpture—depictions of animals—reached its peak in mid-nineteenth-century France, principally due to the work of Antoine-Louis Barye (French, 1795–1875). The public taste for it, however, lasted well into the twentieth century, usually as a form of decoration. This Polar Bear was a favorite of many French decorators of the era, most notably Pompon’s friend Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, who included it in many of his widely published interiors.