Polar Bear

Artist: François Pompon (French, Saulieu 1855–1933 Paris)

Date: ca. 1923

Medium: Marble on marble base

Dimensions: 11 x 19 x 6 3/4 in. (including the base) (27.9 x 48.3 x 17.1 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1930

Accession Number: 30.123ab


A one-time assistant to Rodin, Pompon first showed this sculpture in plaster
at the Salon d’Automne in 1922, when he was sixty-seven. Its popularity led to
its production in a variety of sizes, from tabletop to full scale, and a range of
mediums, including plaster, porcelain, and marble. It was a favorite model of his
friend Ruhlmann, who used it in two of his interiors at the 1925 Paris exposition:
a small version in the salon of his own pavilion and life-size version shown at the
pavilion of the Société des Artistes Décorateurs. The Metropolitan purchased this
sculpture from the Galerie Edgar Brandt in 1930.