Georges-Lucien GUYOT

Bronze with black-brown patina, signed “Guyot”.
Cast by Susse during the artist’s lifetime. Stamped “Susse frères Paris cire perdue” on the base and inscribed « 2ème épreuve », stamped again with a foundry mark on the interior.
Height: 18” (46 cm) x Width: 21 ¼” (54 cm) x Depth: 11 ½” (29 cm).
Circa 1941

Provenance: Private Collection, Monaco.

The Susse archives mention that the cast was to be numbered 1 to 6. In fact, only three proofs were cast between April 1937 and December 1941. The second proof left the workshops on 13 March 1941.



Bears were one of the sculptor’s favorite subjects, featuring prominently in his repertoire.

When he exhibited his first works at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1906, including his first piece, Ours dressé sur ses pattes arrière, Guyot recounted that his interest in plantigrades was probably inspired by an incident his grandfather had told him about:

« Perhaps it was a recollection told to me by one of my grandfathers when I was a teenager that gave me the urge to reproduce bears in clay… My grandfather was unusually strong and as a young man, with his brothers, took up the challenge issued by the owner of a wrestlers’ shack to anyone who could knock down the bear he kept hidden behind a curtain. The prize was a gold louis, which he held in his fat fingertips so we could see how prestigiously it caught and reflected the light. My grandfather’s name was Louis. He was a man of great vigour and undeniable presence… And then, in those years around 1900… Twenty francs… As soon as he came face to face with the animal, which appeared to be quite debonair, my grandfather, who had practiced wrestling a little, charged at the beast and encircled it with his arms. The bear did not even seem to notice, no doubt thinking of the lump of sugar that would follow the fight. He simply placed his two front paws on his adversary’s shoulders and applied pressure… This went on for two minutes and my grandfather was inexorably flattened to the ground”. Guyot was so struck by the story that, attracted by the animal world, he made the Jardin des Plantes his favorite place, observing the two famous bear pits in situ.

Impressive by its contained strength, this Bear with Lowered head with a large hump above its shoulders lending force to its forelegs, points its snout at the ground, ready to turn over earth and rocks. Guyot’s keen sense of observation enabled him to capture the specific instincts of the plantigrade in bronze. Halfway between the smooth surfaces of François Pompon and the rugged ones of Rembrandt Bugatti, the emotion provoked by this sculpture lies in the strength and evocative elegance of its lines, its respect for natural proportions and the ever present affection of a wildlife lover. Inscribed “2ème épreuve” by Susse », our bronze is indeed a special cast of remarkable quality, with a deep black color that gives particular density to the volume of the animal captured at a precise moment of its daily life.