Saturday, April 13, 2013

Two Amazing Bears, One Missing Paw

Yesterday in Dijon, I met my favorite bear.

I can't really remember the moment when I first saw this perfect polar bear. Probably during my first visit to the Musée d'Orsay back in June 2006. I don't remember much from that first visit since we queued for two hours in the rain before getting in.
But not remebering my first encounter with that bear doesn't really matter, I love him anyway. And his little black friend the "Brown Bear" as well.

I met the bear in Dijon.

Would you believe François Pompon created the "Polar Bear" between 1923 and 1933? And that he got to sculpting animals because he had had enough of Rodin? It looks so modern to me.

Over a year ago we were visiting friends in Lille and went for an exhibition called Babel in the Palais des Beaux Arts. This exhibition about how humanity has always wanted to build and live higher, bigger and more and how tragicaly this always ends was very interesting (even though extremely crowded). I liked it. I was happy we went. And then, we went to the boutique. I always go to the museum boutiques to buy a pencil (I have a pretty nice collection of about 100 pencils by now!). I got my pencil, admired the Polar Bear statuette they had in the shop (about 300€, maybe another time) and went to pay my pencil. Then, next to the cashier, I saw HIM, Pompon's little "Brown Bear"! He was a key case and less than 5€. I bought him, put him on my keys and spent every day of last year with him.  What a nice thing to see every time you take your keys and leave your house. Thank you Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille.

 The little bear is now black and white since having him on the keys somehow removed his coloring. 

Unfortunately, this Christmas, the key case broke and my little brown bear fell on the ground. Two of his paws broke. I found one of them and glued it back. One paw is still missing but the little bear now spends his time as a statuette on our working table. He has company, a handmade little red horse from Rožnov pod Radhoštěm my mum gave me many years ago. They look good together, don't you think?

 Pompon's Brown Bear and one Red Horse from the Czech Republic.

It was so nice, randomly meeting the Polar Bear in a park yesterday when going back to Dijon's train station. Pompon was born in Burgundy, not far from Dijon. If you visit the city one day, the statue is in the park on Place Darcy, quite close to the train station and they have some of Pompon's work in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon as well.

Have a great Saturday!


  1. Nice story, makes me think about our national bear here, Paddington :) not the same style but quite historical also !

  2. Oh, very cute :). I must admit, I had to google him...