The sculpture “L’Ours Klein”: The meeting of two masters - artetrama

The sculpture “L’Ours Klein”: The meeting of two masters

, 4 min reading time

100 years after the creation of "L'Ours blanc" by François Pompon, 60 years after the death of Yves Klein and 21 years since his last official edition, the Yves Klein Foundation and the François Pompon Archives have joined forces to create this iconic piece that merges the work of these two great artists.

Yves Klein tirelessly sought the essence of art, hoping to reveal its fundamental immateriality. In sculpture he found a liberating medium through which monochrome art could permeate space in three dimensions. In 1962, the year of his death, Yves Klein created some of his universally known masterpieces, bathed in what became his signature: IKB blue. These sculptures were published between 1982 and 2001, and are now avidly contested by collectors around the world. In 2022, the sixth edition of the ones published after the passing of the artist comes out, "L'Ours Klein".

The six official editions published after Yves Klein's death are as follows:

  • 1973 - La Victoire de Samothrace
  • 1982 - La Vénus d'Alexandrie
  • 1988 - Terre Bleue
  • 1992 - L'esclave mourant d'après Michel Ange 
  • 2001 - Petite Vénus Bleue IKB
  • 2022 - L'Ours Pompon

In 2022, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the artist's death, Artémus Éditions, a French art publisher passionate about Yves Klein's work, proposed to the artist's Foundation to place the famous International Klein Blue (IKB) on an equally iconic sculpture. The "L'Ours Blanc" (The Polar Bear), a masterpiece by fellow Frenchman François Pompon, was presented 100 years ago at the 1922 Salon d'Automne. François Pompon sought to capture the essence of form and movement, Yves Klein with his IKB sought to capture the essence of color and from the fusion of both ideas this edition was born.

Pompon reinterpreted animals by depriving them of detail when depicting them in his sculptures. Although the result was not loyal to the real image, Pompon was able to capture the fluidity of movement, pose and texture. A giant sculpture, "L'Ours Blanc", was first exhibited at the Paris Salon d'Automne in 1922. The artist created this bear a few more times using different media, the most famous is sculpted in stone and can be seen in the Musée D'Orsay in Paris.

In 1954, Klein went to Édouard Adam's studio in Paris to try to find a way to achieve the purity of the ultramarine blue pigment. It was Adam who developed the medium that Yves Klein was looking for, which respected the intensity and texture of the original pigment when applied to his works. This combination of binder and pigment was registered by the artist in 1960 under the name IKB (International Klein Blue).

This edition unites the legitimate owners of the rights of Yves Klein and François Pompon to create a work that is coherent with the heritage of both artists. It should be noted that the high standards and demands of the foundations in charge of the image of both artists have been the guidelines throughout the production of the edition to achieve museum quality.

Artetrama is proud to offer this "L'Ours Klein", a handmade resin sculpture of 40 cm long, created in an exclusive edition limited to 999 copies and whose individual numbering is located under the leg of the right rear flank. The Bear is fixed and protected by a plexiglass bell and is sent inside its box, which is created for this edition, and has a delicate and elegant design, according to its content. Artetrama uses the exclusive shipping service "White Glove Service", which allows us to deliver the artwork through a courier specialized in the handling and transportation of works of art.

This exquisite piece is accompanied by its certificate of authenticity, which, unsurprisingly, is numbered, stamped with the publisher's seal and signed by representatives of the rights holders of both Yves Klein and François Pompon.


Yves Klein left behind an important body of work and an archive containing a large number of documents, writings, photographs, films, audio recordings, books and notebooks. All these archives were collected and preserved by his widow Rotraut Klein Moquay, who is now continuing this work.

The mission of the Yves Klein Archives is to contribute to a better knowledge of the artist's work, to work on the elaboration of a new catalog raisonné, to organize and participate in various cultural projects and to be accessible to scientific and artistic research.


Created in 1997, the François Pompon Association is the only entity that defends today the work of the sculptor François Pompon (1855 - 1933) and his influence. Its aim is to encourage any research and dissemination that contributes to a better knowledge and promotion of his work. The association is managed by a Board of Directors of 12 members who, on the basis of the artist's will (June 5, 1929), defend the moral interests of François Pompon and ensure respect for his creations.

Don't miss the opportunity of acquiring this wonderful piece here.

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