Born in 1855 in Saulieu in French Burgundy, from a cabinetmaker father, François Pompon learned the basics of sculpture from the age of 15 with a marble worker in Dijon, then in Paris, where he also took courses in evening of the National School of Decorative Arts.
While seeking his own style, he became, at the turn of the century, workshop manager of the great Auguste Rodin, then of Camille Claudel. In 1905, his choice of the simplification of forms became final, as well as the smoothing of surfaces, until obtaining consecration with his masterpieces, the “Grand Ours Blanc” and the “Marabout”, both presented successfully at the 1922 Salon d’Automne.
In 1931, Pompon formed the group of Twelve, bringing together disciples such as Artus, Hilbert, Paul Jouve, and Auguste Trémont. When he died two years later, he left behind a totally innovative work, which brought animal sculpture into the era of modernity.
Particular attention has been paid to the green and black patina, as Pompon did in his time when he himself carried out carving and patina at his two successive founders, Hébrard then Valsuani, by developing a Japanese speckled technique, subtly nuanced and rich in color.