François Pompon (1855-1933). Pompon was born in Saulieu in French Burgundy as the son of a carpenter. At his fifteenth he takes service with a stonemason in Dijon where he learns the principles of sculpting. Five years later he goes to Paris where he also works for a stonemason in Montparnasse during the daytime. In the evening he attends classes at l’Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratif. It is not until 1919 that his work starts attracting more interest. Not until he is 67 years old does he get his final breakthrough with the exhibition of l’Ours Blanc in plaster at the Salon des Artiustes Français. Upon his death, Pompon left nearly 300 pieces to the French state which were eventually displayed at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Dijon.