Home Artists Michel Bassompierre

Michel Bassompierre

Michel Bassompierre’s sculptures in bronze and marble are touching, especially because of their friendly nature and signature soft curves. This French artist is one of the most important contemporary animaliers and he has managed to influence the artistic movement with his unique style.

Michel Bassompierre, the animalier who brings bronze and marble to life

When one looks at Bassompierre’s (°1948) work, one sees a contemporary visual approach to animals, such as bears, horses, elephants and gorillas, combined with expert knowledge of the animal’s anatomy. This is required to depict their complex forms accurately. It shows a finesse and mastery that one only acquires throughout the years.

Bassompierre was trained in the atelier of Leleu at the school of Beaux-Arts in Rouen. He primarily learned how to look. He sketches in zoos, museums, animal collections or circusses, and even in the National Museum of Natural History. The sizes, muscles, characteristics and the spirit of each subject take shape and are later sculpted in his atelier nearby Nantes. By applying his focus to the curves of his bears, gorillas, elephants and horses, he creates a form which is soft, dynamic and precise all at once. In the footsteps of François Pompon, Michel Bassompierre leaves behind the anecdotal and focuses on the essential.

Internationally active with bronze sculptures

Michel Bassompierre has won countless awards throughout his 50 year long career and his sculptures are found all around the world in collections and galleries, such as the famous French Galeries Bartoux. 

The artist makes smaller sculptures, but also sculptures on a monumental scale, who temporarily or definitely find their place in the public domain. For example in the Parisian Jardin des Plantes (2021) and also during ‘L’Art au Sommet’ in the exclusive skiing destination Courchevel (winter 2020-2021). Closer to home, on the Promenade des Ours in Andenne in the province of Namur, one is able to find ‘Les Saumons’, a monumental bronze bear of over 2 metres. In April 2022 a new sculpture was added in Andenne, ‘Le Miel No° 3’.

Lost wax technique

Michel Bassompierre uses the lost wax technique for all his patinated bronzes. He works according to the Code of Ethics for Art Foundries and limits his copies to 12. Eight are numbered in Arabic numerals 1/8, 2/8, etc. and four ‘Artist’s Proofs’ numbered in Roman numerals EA I/IV, EA II/IV, etc.

In the footsteps of François Pompon, Michel Bassompierre leaves behind the anecdotal and focuses on the essential.



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Closer to Nature: Exhibition Michel Bassompierre – Renso Tamse

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