François Pompon was a French sculptor and animalier, most commonly recognized for his stylized animals. His career began as an apprentice marble carver in a funerary monument company. He soon after began studies in architecture, engraving, and sculpture. Pompon went on to study under the famous “animalier” Pierre Louis Rouillard at the École Nationale Supérieure Des Arts Décoratifs. Later on, he served as an assistant to Auguste Rodin.
After completing his service to Rodin, he learned as much as he could from various other artists about Sculpting. Eventually, he had a breakthrough in 1921 with his masterpiece, White Bear. White Bear (also known as “Polar Bear in Stride”), is a huge marble sculpture located at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It is famous for the suggestions that come from the powerful image of the bear, such as its naturalistic weight and strength, to its slow, purposeful movements.
To this day, François Pompon is still considered an influential forerunner of modern sculpture, and his intricate renderings of natural life have charmed the hearts of millions. He has had profound effects on naturalistic sculpting and other areas of modern sculpture.